The Conferences

Authors: Round, J. and Murray, C.

Editors: Duncan, R. and Smith, M.

Pages: 246-261

Publisher: Routledge


This article surveys the breadth of conferences and scholarly events devoted to comics across the globe. We will use our contacts worldwide to be as inclusive as possible in our coverage of these events.

The first half of the piece will give a historical introduction to the emergence of scholarly comics-related events, and changing attitudes towards them, and proceed to an inclusive survey that offers brief summaries of the size, scope and focus of each event, organised by country. There will be a focus on place of scholarship within the fan driven early events and the move towards the professionalisation of many of events, and the rise of a convention industry, and the place of scholarship within events that blend aspects of a convention and a conference.

The second half of the article is comprised of a series of case studies of contemporary events, in which we focus on some key examples to reflect on the variance and implications of their different aims and approaches. We will draw on interviews with organisers and participants to consider: the place and impact of comics strands in larger international academic conferences (e.g. the PCA); large-scale events (e.g. Angouleme; San Diego Comic-Con); 'aca-fan' events (e.g. the Comic Arts Conference; Leeds Thought Bubble); and creator-organised events (e.g. the Lake Festival; Kapow Comic-Con).

The article will conclude with reflections on the current position of comics events and their impact in shaping and sustaining the discipline's scholarly community and its field of study, for example regarding participants' identities, locations, research and so forth

Source: Manual