International Conference "Lateral Solidarities: Visualizing Global South Comics"
International Conference 2-3 June 2022
Freie Universität Berlin / Literarisches Colloquium Berlin
James Hodapp (Northwestern University in Qatar/EXC 2020 Fellow RA 4)
Jasmin Wrobel (Freie Universität Berlin/EXC 2020 RA 4)
Lateral Solidarities: Visualizing Global South Comics
Too often, “global literature” has been synonymous with texts that make themselves legible to normative Western reading. Whether texts that originate from the West and circulate globally, those that enter the Western consciousness via translation into European languages, or those that engage with the preoccupations of the West (e.g. the veil and religious extremism in the Middle East; poverty and war in Africa; violence and narcotraffic in Latin America), what has been considered “worldly” in literary studies has not embodied the diversity and multifariousness of literary practices around the world.
For comics, this is true in an even more pivotal way. Even if their ‘value’ as an artistic medium is no longer questioned in both reading and academic communities, they have, in a very similar way to literature, also been largely limited to normative Western reading, and circulated under circumscribed conditions, with the prominent exception of Japanese comic art. As comics’ multimodal language requires acts of showing, seeing, and being seen as well as the setting of lines, frames, and angles, every hegemonic act of reading means a repressing of a medium that is, in fact, predestined to challenge our habits of looking at the world.
By approaching comics via a Global South methodology in our conference, we hope to more fully exemplify the rich world of comics coming from non-Western locales and authors. Generally speaking, we think about the Global South as characterizing work that creates lateral solidarities via culture, economics, art, politics, etc. between peoples marginalized by global capitalism. These solidarities can be explicit via comparison of work from multiple geographies, but we also believe that one can study a single locale or comic via a Global South methodology – that comparison is not the only way to create solidarity. While recognizing that the nation is a powerful unit, we think about Global South work as largely eschewing the nation in favor of smaller and larger units, such as the linguistic, tribal, oceanic, etc. In less academic terms, we are interested in analyzing comics from non-Western locales using approaches that do not rely on Western frameworks to create value and insight. This is not a wholesale rejection of the West, but decentering it as a legitimizing normative part of comic studies seems to us as a prerequisite for valuing Global South comics on their own terms.
Thursday, 2 June 2022, Literarisches Colloquium Berlin
16:00 – 22:00 Artists Soirée
16:00 – 16:15 Introduction
16:15 – 17:00 Nacha Vollenweider: Neo/Colonial Relations and Transnational Migration Routes in Notas al pie and Volver
17:00 – 17:45 Deena Mohamed: Right to Left: Arabic Comics in Self-Translation
B r e a k
18:00 – 18:45 Lea Hübner: Translating South American Comics
18:45 – 19:30 Powerpaola: Love, Friendship, Collectives – and Comics
B r e a k
19:45 – 20:45 Round-Table
Friday, 3 June 2022, Freie Universität Berlin
10:00 – 22:00 Academic Part
10:00 – 10:15 Introduction
10:15 – 11:00 Nina Mickwitz (London): Provocative Alignment: Advocacy and Fantasy in the Ghanaian comic Lake of Tears (Kobe Ofei and Setor Fiadzigbey, 2017)
11:00 – 11:45 Haya Alfarhan (London): “He was knowing”: Handala and Implicated Acts of Looking in Naji Al-Ali’s Political Cartoons
B r e a k
12:00 – 12:45 Sandra Federici (Bologna): A Sociological Approach to Francophone African Comics (1978–2016)
12:45 – 13:30 Janek Scholz (Köln): Nation Building in and through Comics. Examples from Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique
L u n c h
15:00 – 15:45 Lina Ghaibeh (Beirut): The New Generation: Arab Comics Today
15:45 – 16:30 Amadeo Gandolfo/Pablo Turnes (Buenos Aires/Berlin): With 10 Cartoonists I Can Make a Gnarly Stew: Re-Writing Anthologies in the 21st Century
B r e a k
16:45 – 17:30 Andrea Aramburú Villavisencio (Cambridge): A Queer Utopia in the Brazilian-Japanese Diaspora: Taís Koshino’s Ainda ontem (2017)
17:30 – 18:15 Anne Brüske (Regensburg/Heidelberg): ‘Da(ny) Goes Graphic‘: Cultural Positionings beyond the ‘Global South’ in Dany Laferrière’s Graphic Novels [online]
19:00 – 19:30 Final Discussion
For more information and registration please contact Jasmin Wrobel before 27 May 2022: firstname.lastname@example.org.