OSL Masterclass: ‘Literature/Comics Crossroads: Genres, Forms, Narratives’

2 May 2024  | 13.00-18.00
University of Amsterdam Bushuis – F1.14 (Kloverniersburgwal 48, Amsterdam)

Organizers: Dr Kristina Gedgaudaitė (University of Amsterdam) and Dr Enrique del Rey Cabero (University of Alcala, Spain)
Credits: 1 EC. NB: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.

Registration will open on 5 February 2024 VIA THIS LINK.

The masterclass sets out to examine the notions of fiction, life-writing and historicity through the medium of comics. Literature has found its way into the form of comics in a range of ways, be it adaptations of literary works or non-fiction narratives using extracts from literary works as scaffolding for autobiographical experiences. By focusing on the latter, in this masterclass we will explore comics from different transnational contexts and examine the ways in which they engage literary fiction to tell their story. In doing so, we will address the questions: what can comics as a form of knowledge contribute to the ways in which we frame historical events, including their ruptures, continuities, and the ways they affect ‘ordinary lives’? What different roles does literary fiction assume in this process? What is at stake when representing difficult, contested historical moments? How do graphic narratives negotiate the tension between the documentary and the aesthetic? How do different media interact on the comics page?

The masterclass will showcase a variety of ways in which, beyond just being a means of representation, comics act to enrich our understanding of history, give voice to the marginalized communities and reframe mainstream narratives by providing alternative visions. The masterclass will consist of three parts. The first part will give a more theoretical lecture style overview on comics page layout and the ways it affects and shapes reading experiences. In the second part, we will use examples from specific comics to examine ways they engage literary fiction to narrate history and lived experiences (Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Lynda Barry’s One Hundred Demons, Soloup’s Aivali, and Sonny Lieuw’s The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye). The third and final part will include a workshop where students will have a chance to apply skills that they learned to tell the story of their own (be it a lived experience or a research journey). No drawing experience necessary.


13:00-14:00: An introductory lecture
14:15-14:30: Coffee break
14:15-15:45: Discussion of readings with students
15:45-16:00: Break
16:00-17:30: Creative comics workshop
17:30: Borrel

This masterclass is part of the project ReCOLLECTED, funded by the European Union through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie individual fellowship (Project no. 101067507). Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the granting authority. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.