26 November 2013

Nancy Silberkleit on Comics as an Educational Resource

Here is a very interesting talk from Nancy Silberkleit, CEO of Archie Comics (and, incidentally, speaker at the 2013 Graphic Justice One-Day Symposium). She discusses the ways in which she believes comics and comic books can be an inspiring and practically useful tool for educating younger generations. Not just in terms of increasing reading skills, but also by helping them engage with complex social issues such as bullying in an accessible and entertaining format.

31 October 2013

Tintin Symposium UCL

Some of you interested in Graphic Justice may also be interested in this Tintin symposium at UCL. The link to their CFP is below, and they are interested in (but not limited to) the following possible themes: 
  • Tintin and Hergé
  • Tintin and comic book history
  • Tintin and detective fiction
  • Tintin and the adventure story
  • Tintin in translation
  • Censorship of Tintin
  • Tintin’s spinoffs
  • Tintin in adaptations
  • Tintin in films
  • Tintin fan culture
  • Tintin and geography
  • Tintin and travel
  • Tintin as cultural phenomenon
  • Travel and colonialism
  • Treatment of race in Tintin
  • Snowy as sidekick
  • Animal welfare
  • EcoTintin
  • Tintin and gender
  • Tintin and masculinity; homosocial relations
  • Tintin in criticism

16 October 2013

Comics and Pedagogy (and Rock Music)--A Chris Boge Guest Post

Dear All,

I've just had an article published in a journal edited by the Austrian government that may be of interest to you for several reasons. Although the journal's title translates as Media Impulse: Contributions to Media Pedagogy, in my article on 'Visualizing Histories and Stories' I touch on topics located in the field of law and the humanities that cannot be understood without contextualisation (e.g. vigilantism, justice, fascism, crime). Moreover, those of us working with students may benefit from a pedagogical perspective on and close reading of (excerpts from) classic graphic novels like Watchmen and Maus -  at least if we intend to take the first part of the compound Graphic Justice as seriously as the second. There are reasons why (reading and teaching) graphic fiction differs from (reading and teaching) other cultural products, such as e.g. novels and films, and in my article I'm trying to briefly highlight what makes (reading and teaching) graphic novels (a) unique (experience) (e.g. simultaneity) as well as what are the features graphic novels share in common with other forms of storytelling (e.g. plot structures). Having said all that, it's an article, not a book - there was a word limit which I exceeded :-) Here's the link to theonline version.

Secondly, I've written and released a rock song that is as much the result of international cooperation as of interdisciplinary thinking. As I'm sure you will notice, the lyrics of the song were inspired by the papers I gave at Birkbeck and St Mary's. "Superheroes" was recorded, mixed and mastered in Cologne, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, GA. It seems to me that many people think that academics are boring people who, somewhat belatedly, set out to analyze cultural products created by artists. I believe that is a misconception, and in a way "Superheroes" proves that the thesis can be turned on its head: In this case, a cultural product came into existence after someone had done research on a topic in a specialized academic field (law and culture). Below you'll find links to CD Baby and iTunes, "Superheroes" should also be on amazon, spotify etc. by now. If you like what you hear, drop me a line and I'll send you the song for free. 

All best, Chris.

3 October 2013

Comica Fesital / Transitions Symposium 2013

Those of you interested in comics studies generally may find this free one-day event at Birkbeck very exciting. It's the fourth 'Transisions' comics symposium, which promotes new research and multi-disciplinary academic study of comics/comix/manga/bande dessinée and other forms of sequential art. Book your place and come along on 26 October and be inspired and challenged!


And here's some more details for y'all: 

Keynote: Dr. Ann Miller (University of Leicester, joint editor of European Comic Art)
Respondent: Dr. Roger Sabin (Central St. Martins, University of the Arts London)
Booking: Attendance is free but registration is essential. To book a place email the Transitions team at transitions.symposium@gmail.com.
Transitions is part of Comica, the London International Comics Festival
Event description: "Transitions is currently the only regular academic comics event based in London. The symposium provides a platform where different perspectives and methodologies can be brought together and shared. As an event devoted to promoting new research into comics in all their forms the symposium provides a forum for research from postgraduate students and early career lecturers. Comics studies occupy a unique multi-disciplinary middle-space, one that encourages cross-disciplinary pollination and a convergence of distinct knowledges: literary and cultural studies, visual arts and media, modern languages, sociology, geography and more. By thinking about comics across different disciplines, we hope to stimulate and provoke debate, to address a wide spectrum of questions, to map new trends, and to provide a space for dialogue and further collaboration to emerge."

4 September 2013

Race and Gender in Comics: Ian Rakoff Lunchtime Lecture at the V&A

Ian Rakoff, one of the participants in next week's one-day symposium, is doing an extended version of his talk as part of the Victoria and Albert Museum's Lunchtime Lectures.

He will be discussing representations of race and gender in comics. Feel free to pop along!

The talk will take place on 2 October, from 1300-1345.

Details can be found here, and also here.

2 September 2013

In Interview with Paul Gravett

Renowned comics writer Paul Gravett has been very supportive of the Graphic Justice project. Those keener-eyed amongst you may have noticed that he is chairing one of the panels at the one-day symposium on 11th September. He has also interviewed me, and if you follow the link below you can read the interview on his website.

Read the interview here.

5 August 2013

Symposium Fully Booked! (+ paper abstracts)

The Graphic Justice One-day Symposium, taking place on 11 September 2013, is now FULLY BOOKED! I have had an excellent level of interest, and I'm very excited to see everyone on the day.

In advance of the event, I have compiled a nice handy collection of the abstracts for all the papers being presented. So, you can get a flavour of the various panels and papers from the comfort of your own home/office well in advance of the Symposium.

The document can be found here.

Although there will be programmes in hard-copy on the day, this more detailed collection will not be available. So, you may want to print your own copy to bring with you if you don't have any portable means of accessing it electronically.

31 July 2013

GikII: Law, Technology and Popular Culture... and Comics?


This post is not to do with the upcoming Graphic Justice One-Day Symposium, but is about a related project that some of you may be familiar with: GikII. It has been kindly pointed out to me that GikII focuses its interest on the intersections of law, technology, and popular culture, so there may be some fruitful overlap between the two projects. It certainly looks like a thoroughly exciting and engaging project! Check out the CFP for their upcoming September conference taking place in Bournemouth: http://www.gikii.org/?p=129

5 July 2013

Why don't we just kill 'em all?

This is just a quick post to give you all a link you may find interesting.

Ever thought about the deathworthiness of criminals? Well, Graphic Justice Research Alliance members Nickie Philips and Staci Strobl have. Here is a very interesting article which they have written for the Wall Street Journal.

Be warned: it contains spoilers for the latest Superman blockbuster Man of Steel.

As an aside, you can now find a link to Philips and Strobl's CrimCast blog on the links page.

17 April 2013

Graphic Justice: One-Day Symposium draft programme

Below you will find a draft copy of the programme for the graphic justice symposium taking place 11 September 2013 in London. A fun-packed day indeed!

Coffee and registration: 0900–1000

Session 1: 1000–1130
Panel 1A: Law, meet comics Panel 1B: Vigilantism
Mark Zaid, [effect of law on comics industry and content] Fletch Williams and Kurtis Dobie, ‘Kingdom Come: Truth, Justice and the American Way?’
Graham Ferris and Cleo Lunt, ‘Can A Good Guy be on the Side of the Bad Guy: The (Mis)Representation of the Ethics of the Lawyer for the Defence in Adversarial Criminal Proceedings in Comics and Graphic Fiction’ Chris Comerford, ‘The Order Creates the Chaos: Batman and the Dichotomy of Justice’
Kim Barker, ‘Copyright, Derivative Works & UGC: A Comic Inspiration?’ Angus Nurse, ‘Extreme Restorative Justice: The Politics of Vigilantism in Vertigo’s 100 Bullets’

Coffee: 1130–1200

Session 2: 1200–1300
Panel 2A: RacePanel 2B: Talking through comics
David Keane, ‘Minority Rights and Racial Discrimination in Graphic Novels’Shawn Harmon, ‘Not Foresighting and Not Answering: Using Graphic Fiction to interrogate Social and Regulatory Issues in Biomedicine’
Ian Rakoff, ‘Comics and the making of the American Identity’Richard Glancey, [Teaching constitutional law with comics]

Lunch: 1300–1400

Session 3: 1400–1530
Panel 3A: Comics vs reality Panel 3B: Thinking about law and crime
Elaine Deering, ‘Themes of Justice in Superhero Comic Book Stories’ Chris Boge, ‘Crimes against (Super)Humanity: Forms of Justice and Governance in Alex Ross's Justice and Dan Jurgen's Justice League International’
Nancy Silberkleit, [Comics as a means of tackling bullying] Chris Lloyd, ‘Judge, Jury, and Executioner: Obama’s Drones, Judge Dredd and Benjaminian Violence’
Nic Groombridge, ‘Stepping off the Page: Superhero Crime and Victimisation’ Darren Parker, ‘Rick Grimes’ Lament: Reimaging Lawfulness in a World of the Undead'

Coffee: 1530–1600

Session 4: 1600–1700
Panel 4A: Truth, justice, and Tintin Panel 4B: Violence
David Marrani, ‘Tintin, (Anti?) Hero of Justice’ Nickie Phillips and Staci Strobl, ‘Deathworthiness: Red Team and Cry for Justice in Retributive Context’
Jérémie Gilbert, ‘Graphic Reporting: Human Rights Violations through the Lens of Graphic Novels’ James Petty, ‘Violence, Justice and Ideology in Watchmen’

End: 1700

12 April 2013

SLSA funding for Graphic Justice

Great news,

The UK's Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) has awarded me funding under their annual 'seminar competition'. This fund is used to assist innovative and inclusive projects in the socio-legal field.

The funding will be used not only to provide attendees with tea, coffee, and sandwiches (a vital and important element of any academic event), but will also enable travel assistance to be given to international delegates presenting papers. It will help ensure the day is an enjoyable event for all (biscuits, after all, mean happiness), and will help secure the international interest and global flavour with which I am hoping graphic justice will come to be associated.

CFP Now Closed

The call for papers at the one-day symposium this September has now CLOSED. I have received a wealth of papers and expressions of interest, which is amazing, and I will be organising the content of the symposium over the next few weeks. There should be some kind of draft programme up here at some point in the (relatively) near future.

15 February 2013

Call for Papers: September 2013

The call for papers is out for the Graphic Justice one-day symposium this September! You can view the poster here, or you can read the plain text below.

Call for Papers

This is a call for papers to be presented at a one-day symposium on the intersection of comics and graphic fiction with the concerns of law and justice, to be held at St Mary’s University College, London on 11 September 2013

With Anglophone comics, Francophone bandes dessinées, and Japanese manga, graphic fiction represents an expanding dimension of today’s global popular culture and is a richly innovative form of expression. From the overt law and order focus of many mainstream narratives and comics-inspired blockbuster movies, such as The Dark Knight and Judge Dredd, to the more nuanced examinations of the human condition in graphic works like Maus, Signal to Noise, and Appleseed; from the blurring of text and image in the very medium itself to representations of law, justice, and legal systems on the surface of its pages: comics and graphic fiction are rife with themes relevant to law and justice.

Comics have been receiving an increased level of academic attention in recent years, with dedicated journals and conferences springing up around the world. Yet the significance of comics with respect to the concerns of law and justice has received little critical attention. As a development of existing disciplinary fields such as law and popular culture, law and literature, and legal aesthetics, graphic justice is a research alliance aimed at increasing engagement with this under-explored disciplinary crossover.

Please send abstracts to thomas.giddens@smuc.ac.uk by Friday 22 March, 2013

For more information contact Thom Giddens, Lecturer in Law, St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, London: thomas.giddens@smuc.ac.uk.

New Logo

Graphic justice now has one of these: a logo! Well, an image at least. Here it is: