Multiculturalism and Representation: A Conference on Comics

Deadline: July 16, 2012
Open to: Individuals interested in the topic
Venue: 15 -16 November 2012, Leeds, United Kingdom


Multiculturalism, and the representation of it, has long presented challenges for the medium of comics (including manga and bande dessinée). Questions surround the ways in which characters of differing cultures and/or nationalities can and should be presented; answers to which have ranged from anthropomorphism to xenophobia. Issues also exist around the diversity of creators and characters, and the (lack of) visibility for characters that do not conform to particular cultural stereotypes. At Comics Forum 2012, the fourth event in the Thought Bubble conference series, they will attempt to draw out some of the complexities of this field in order to better understand both the problems and the achievements of the medium in dealing with multiculturalism.

Subjects for discussion may include, but are not limited to:

• Cultural diversity (or lack thereof) in comics, manga and bande dessinée
• Ways in which multiculturalism has been represented, visually and/or linguistically in comics
• Moves towards increasing the representation of particular cultural groups in comics, either as creators or characters (e.g. Milestone Comics)
• The modification of existing comics and properties to address new markets (e.g. Spider-Man: India)
• Controversial representations of cultures and relations between cultures (e.g. Tintin au Congo)
• The modification of existing works in new-media representations (e.g. the omission of Ebony White in the film version of The Spirit; the controversies surrounding Idris Elba’s role as Heimdal in Thor)


The conference will be held between 15 -16 November 2012 in Leeds, United Kingdom


Proposals of 250 words are invited for talks of 15-20 minutes in length, and should be emailed along with a short biography (around 100 words) to Ian Hague (Department of History, University of Chichester) at: The deadline for submission is 16/07/2012 and notification of acceptance or rejection will be emailed by or before 30/07/2012.

The Official Website

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