L01
Writing culture and comics: the value of sequential art in anthropology?

Convenors:
Caroline Schuster (Australian National University)
Guillaume Molle (Australian National University)
Format:
Laboratories
Location:
Slatyer room (N2011), R.N Robertson Building
Sessions:
Tuesday 3 December, 9:00-10:45, 14:00-15:45

Short abstract:

This two-part lab will introduce participants to the ways "culture" has been recruited into comic book storytelling. In the second half, organisers will lead a hands-on workshop on the process of creating comics, focusing on storytelling for sequential art. No drawing skills required.

Long abstract:

The first half of the lab will introduce participants to the ways "culture" has been recruited into comic book storytelling. How have the communities and settings made famous by ethnographic fieldworkers been represented in sequential art, and with what effects? Simultaneously, we will explore how anthropological research has been presented in comic book genres, both historically and in contemporary writing. This interactive lab will include a poster session that will introduce participants to the history of anthropology and comics at their intersection. Participants will be able to engage with sample materials from a range of genres and comics traditions. We also invite debate about the value, ethics and politics of sequential art in anthropology and beyond. The second lab session will focus on a practicum designed to explore the creation of sequential art as a tool and medium for writing ethnography. Can sequential art be used to convey the value of ethnological research? What are the practical and theoretical limitations of this tool, especially in comparison to traditional research outputs and the conventions of ethnographic writing? Session organisers will lead a hands-on workshop on the process of creating comics, focusing on constructing narrative and storytelling for sequential art. By the end of the workshop, participants will share drafts of their own creations, and engage in a wider debate about conveying anthropological concepts through comics. No drawing skills required