Why Comics?

This event is part of the Art and Testimony Webinar Series 2024 co-hosted by the University of Victoria’s Survivor-Centred Visual Narratives project and the UBC-V Public Humanities Hub.

“Survivor-Centred Visual Narratives” is an international project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada under the title “Visual Storytelling and Graphic Art in Genocide and Human Rights Education” (SSHRC Partnership Grant; 2022-2029).

Dr. Fransiska Louwagie in a black top, wearing glasses, smiling, next to Dr. Véronique Sina in a black top, wearing glasses, smiling, next to details of their Art and Testimony webinar, "Why Comics?", taking place on March 7, 9AM Pacific Time, moderated by Dr. Biz Nijdam.

Why comics? Why is the graphic art medium ideally suited to represent history, memory and the process of remembering? Our comic scholars provide insights and more, into the importance of comics and graphic novels.

Hosted and moderated by Dr. Elizabeth “Biz” Nijdam, Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies (CENES) at UBC.

Thursday, March 7, 2024
9:00-10:30 AM Pacific Time
Online via Zoom 

Register here

Speaker Bios

Dr. Fransiska Louwagie in a black top, wearing glasses, and smiling at the cameraDr. Fransiska Louwagie is a Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies at the University of Aberdeen.  She took up this position in August 2022 and was previously employed at the KULeuven, where she completed her PhD, and at the University of Leicester, where she held a post as Lecturer and then Associate Professor of French. She is the author of Témoignage et littérature d’après Auschwitz (2020) and has co-edited several volumes and thematic issues, including:  Un ciel de sang et de cendres. Piotr Rawicz et la solitude du témoin (2013); Key Cultural Texts in Translation (2018), Ego-histories of France and the Second World War: Writing Vichy (2018); Tradition and Innovation in Franco-Belgian bande dessinée (202); Migration, Memory and the Visual Arts: Second-Generation (Jewish) Artists (2023). She was the PI for the AHRC-research project ‘Covid in Cartoons’, conducted in collaboration with Shout Out UK and Cartooning for Peace (2021-2022). Alongside this project, she conducted a number of GCRF-funded projects around political cartooning, in collaboration with partners in Kenya, Ivory Coast and South Africa (2021-2022). She is currently leading a BA/Leverhulme research project on ‘The Future of WWII France in Academia’ with Manu Bragança (2022-2024), and is co-leading the Rwanda cluster for the SSHRC-funded project ‘Visual Storytelling and Graphic Art in Genocide and Human Rights Education’ with Dr Erin Jessee from the University of Glasgow, working with artists Joëlle Ebene and Michel Kichka.

Dr. Véronique Sina in a black top, wearing glasses, and smiling at the cameraDr. Véronique Sina is currently a film and media studies scholar at Goethe University Frankfurt. She is the Principal Investigator of the DFG funded project “Queering Jewishness – Jewish Queerness. Discursive Constructions of Gender and ‘Jewish Difference’ in (Audio-)Visual Media” and specialises in Gender/Queer Studies, Intersectionality, Intermediality, Comics Studies, Media Aesthetics, Holocaust Studies and Jewish Visual Culture Studies. In 2023 she held a temporary position as full professor (W3) of Film Studies at Goethe University Frankfurt (Spring/Summer 2023). Prior, she held a position as interim full professor (W2) of Media Studies at Ruhr-University Bochum (Spring/Summer 2022).

She received her PhD at Ruhr-University Bochum. Her dissertation at the Department of Media Studies was published as “Comic – Film – Gender. The (Re-)Mediation of Gender in Comic Book Movies” (transcript, 2016). From 2017 to 2019 she was an associate member (Postdoc) of the DFG graduate research training group “Das Dokumentarische. Exzess und Entzug” (Documentary Practices: Excess and Privation). Since 2020 she is an associate member of the research group “Queery/ing Popular Culture” at the University Siegen and an associate member of the “SELMA STERN ZENTRUM für Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg”. She is a member of the DFG-funded research network “Gender, Medien und Affekt” as well as of the “Frankfurt Humanities Research Centre” (FZHG) and of the “Cornelia Goethe Center for Gender Studies” (CGC) at Goethe University Frankfurt. She is CoFounder of the Committee for Comics Studies (AG Comicforschung) of the German Society for Media Studies (GfM), as well as Co-Editor of the interdisciplinary book series “Comicstudien” (de Gruyter).
For more information see: www.veronique-sina.de.

Moderator Bio

Headshot of Dr. Elizabeth "Biz" Nijdam who is wearing glasses.Dr. Elizabeth “Biz” Nijdam is an Assistant Professor and settler scholar in the Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, where she works, learns, and lives on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She is currently completing her book manuscript Graphic Historiography: History & Memory through Comics and Graphic Novels (Ohio State University Press). Biz’s research and teaching include the representation of history in comics, comics and new media on forced migration, intersections between Indigenous studies and German, European, and migration studies, analog game studies, and feminist methodologies in the graphic arts. Biz sits on the Executive Committee of the International Comic Arts Forum and is the Director of the Comics Studies Cluster in UBC’s Public Humanities Hub.