Can Comics Change the World? Upcoming “Comics Up Close” gathering ponders the influence of the Ninth Art

Next Friday sees the return of Comics Up Close to Kendal, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival’s specialist look at many aspects of the Ninth Art and creating comics, which includes a talk by artist-academic Elenit Sampra, creator of CIELL, a multinational project led by Lancaster University that developed comics for the purpose of inclusive English language learning, and Andrew Humphreys and Olivier Kugler, creators of the touring Great British Fish and Chip Exhibition.

CIELL Agatha Christie Image by Elenit Sampra
Art by Elenit Sampra

Comics up Close – an all-day, deep dive into the world of comics for academics, creatives and the general reader who wants to learn more about the latest thinking in comics -brings together leading international academics, creators and comic advocates from across the globe, to explore how comics are in the vanguard of delivering social change.

Presented in partnership with with Lancaster University and ReOpen, the event features the following presenters and guests: Dr. Alexandra Alberda, Research Illustrator, Minute Works design studio; Rich Charlesworth, English Lead at the UK Literacy Association; Dr Anna Feigenbaum, Principal Academic in Digital Storytelling at Bournemouth University; Nicole Furtado, a PhD student in the Department of English at University of California; writer Andrew Humphreys; comics and children’s literature PHD student Helen Jones, Lecturer in Primary Education, UCL Institute of Education, Dept Leadership & Learning, UCL; reportage comic artist Olivier Kugler; Dr Nataša Lacković, from the Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University; Professor Andrew Miles, from the Univeristy of Manchester, who’s researching culture, class and inequality, social and spatial mobilities, cultural policy; Mexican comics expert Marisol Rodriguez, a writer, editor and curator in the crossroads of cultural history, popular culture and contemporary art, artist and academic; graphic novels advocate Richard Ruddick, who’d like to see more of them in classrooms; Dr Joe Sutliffe Sanders, a professor of children’s literature at Faculty of Education, Cambridge University; Rowena Singleton, Head of Research, Comic Art Europe Research Project; Dr Andrew Tate, Reader in Literature, Religion and Aesthetics at Lancaster University; Dr Eleni Tsampra; and Peruvian scholar Andrea Aramburu-Villavisencio, who is interested in autobiographical comics.

Presentations will include the role comics are playing in public health messaging, improving attainment in primary education, the empowerment of indigenous communities across the globe and the health and wellbeing of young people.

Tickets are £10, but admission is free to anyone with a Lakes International Comic Art Festival Weekend Pass.

Comics Can Change The World – How Comics Are Delivering Positive Change In Education And Society 10.00am – 4.30pm Friday 15th October 2021 | Screen 2, Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal | Tickets: £10 (free with Weekend Festival Pass – registration required)

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COMICS UP CLOSE 2021 – PROGRAMME

The Great British Fish and Chips - Art by Olivier Kugler

CHANGING COMMUNITIES ACROSS EUROPE

10.05AM – 10.40AM

Professor Andrew Miles School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester & Rowena Singleton, Head of Research, Comic Art Europe Research Project

Four projects from across Europe using comics to improve educational attainment. The speakers will report in particular on year one activity at Abraham Moss Primary School, Manchester where comics are being used to improve enjoyment of reading and the findings of rigorous research to chart the impact of the programme.

COMICS AND PUBLIC HEALTH MESSAGING

10.40AM – 11.10AM

Dr Anna Feigenbaum, Department of Communication and Journalism, Bournemouth University and Dr. Alexandra Alberda, Research Illustrator, Minute Works design studio

From slice-of-life diary pieces to public health guidance, comics artists are using online platforms to share information on COVID-19. In this presentation we offer insights from our AHRC funded COVID-19 project that looked at over 15,000 Instagram webcomics shared during the pandemic. Showcasing examples of best practice, we explore how comics can help get public health messages to reach wider audiences, make information more accessible and even change people’s hearts and minds.

THINGS AND THE MIND: THE WORLD’S FIRST INTERACTIVE DIGITAL COMIC ON STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH

11.30AM – 12.00PM

Dr Nataša Lacković, Dept of Educational Research, Lancaster University

In this session, Dr Nataša Lacković presents an interactive digital comic co-created with students on their lived experiences of mental health, considering the potential and challenges of applied comics in mental health and student mental health in particular. The session will also consider the co-development of digital and interactive comics from socio-material, material engagement and new material perspectives, as a novel area of digital and medical humanities.

THE GREAT BRITISH FISH & CHIP EXHIBITION

12.00PM – 12.20PM

Andrew Humphreys and Olivier Kugler

A project to chart the history and impact of this great British dish, through innovative display techniques.

COMICS IN THE CLASSROOM

2PM – 2.45PM

Helen Jones, Lecturer in Primary Education, UCL Institute of Education, Dept Leadership & Learning, UCL

The superpower of comics in the classroom is a pedagogical tool waiting to be unleashed! In this talk, Richard Ruddick, Rich Charlesworth and Helen Jones reveal their passion for comics in the primary school, share practical ideas for teaching and discuss the impact comics have on children’s reading for pleasure, empathy and development as authors and comic creators.

COMICS FOR INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE, SUSTAINABILITY AND LEARNING: IN CONVERSATION WITH ELENI TSAMPRA

3.15PM – 3.40PM

Dr Eleni Tsampra in conversation with Dr Nataša Lacković

In this session, Eleni Tsampra, an artist-academic will be in conversation with the session host Dr Nataša Lacković about her recent work on two projects: 1) CIELL, a multinational project led by Lancaster University (PI: Dr Julie-Ann Sime) that developed comics for the purpose of inclusive English language learning, exploring UN sustainable development goals, and 2) a biographic graphic novel about Galileo Galilei, a prominent Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer.

COMICS THAT BREAK BOUNDARIES

3.40PM – 4.20PM

Dr Joe Sutliffe Sanders, Faculty of Education, Cambridge University, Marisol Rodriguez, Andrea Aramburu-Villavisencio and Nicole Furtado

Past, Present, & Future Reimaginings. Indigenous communities and the Global South: a presentation and panel discussion exploring the role of comics in strengthening cultural identity across the global south.

Comics Can Change The World – How Comics Are Delivering Positive Change In Education And Society 10.00am – 4.30pm Friday 15th October 2021 | Screen 2, Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal | Tickets: £10 (free with Weekend Festival Pass – registration required)

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: Comics, Comics Education News, Comics Studies, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events

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