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Call for Papers for Comics Up Close at LICAF 2021

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Image courtesy of Pixabay via Stockvault

The following blog post is a call for submissions by Comics Up Close – New Perspectives in Comic Art as part of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2021. At this event, Dr Anna Feigenbaum is going to be presenting our own research alongside other comics-based academic projects. If you are an academic with interests relating to comics and graphic novels, this could be a valuable opportunity for you to present your work at an award-winning comics festival

A Call for Papers for Comics Up Close – New Perspectives in Comic Art, the opening event of Lakes International Comic Art Festival on 15th October 2021, has just been announced by the team from LICAF and ReOPeN, Lancaster University’s graphic novels and comics pedagogy, research and engagement network.

We welcome the submission of abstracts for short papers that explore any aspect of comic art or graphic novels. For comics-inspired academics, this is an opportunity to share your current or recent project with other researchers, illustrators, writers and teachers in the field, as well as members of the general public passionate about comics. These papers will be part of sessions inspired by the PechaKucha
presentation method: participants are asked to speak for eight
minutes, with eight slides.

Areas of interest include but are not restricted to: comics for empowerment, social justice and change, comic histories, comics and
the reinterpretation of literature, the politics of comic art, international
comics, graphic narratives, comics and horror, cinema, education, and
science fiction.

If you are interested in taking part, please submit a title
and an abstract of up to 150 words.

The deadline for submission of extracts is 5.00pm, Monday 13th September 2021 and should be sent to Lancaster University’s:
Dr. Andrew Tate (a.tate@lancaster) and
Dr. Natasa Lackovic (n.lackovic@lancaster.ac.uk),
who head up the university’s graphic novels and comics pedagogy,
research and engagement network, ReOPeN.

 

Confirmed Comics Up Close speakers include:
Prof. Andrew Miles, University of Manchester
Dr. Anna Feigenbaum, Dept. of Communications & Journalism at
Bournemouth University.
Helen Jones, Institute of Education at University College, London.
Dr Joe Sutliff Sanders, Faculty of English at Cambridge University.

More Information about licaf 2021 and COmics up close can be found at:

www.comicartpodcast.uk

Twitter: @comicartfestpod

Facebook: @comicartpodcast

Instagram: @comicartpodcast

Covid Comics Administrator
Webmaster , Covidcomics.org
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Our AHRC team bring insights on Covid Comics for data literacy to the 2021 Digital Inclusion Policy and Research Conference

On September 14, 2021 Dr. Anna Feigenbaum, Dr. Alexandra Alberda, Shannon McDavitt and Professor Julian McDougall will present findings from our AHRC project at the Digital Inclusion Policy and Research Conference. The DIPRC 2021 international conference brings together policymakers and academic researchers to explore the effects of the pandemic on digital literacy—and of digital literacy on the pandemic. Our team will be discussing the role that comics can play in fostering data literacy around public health messages.  

Image of two paths and person reflecting on impacts of social distancing
Image from Social Dynamics of Post-Lockdown Life illustrated by Alexandra Alberda. Scripted by Yazan Abbas, Alexandra Alberda and Anna Feigenbaum.

During COVID-19 our pandemic lives became deeply entwined with health data and data visualizations.​ From instructional hand-washing infographics, to calls to ‘flatten the curve,’ data visualisations were telling us how to live, and predicting our possible futures. How we make sense of this data and the visualisation of public health, and our own meaning-making practices in this information environment, raises important questions for what it now means to be literate.  

Alongside authorial information graphics produced by the world’s biggest health organisations and newspapers, citizens and artists also leveraged data visualisation conventions to create their own artistic representations of public health messages, often making them more approachable, accessible and relatable.  

Tackling everything from understanding the significance of rising R numbers, to appropriate methods of mask wearing, to being on guard for misinformation, these amateur ‘data comics’ were shared across social media to thousands of followers each day. At their best, these comics amplified public health messages, increased information comprehension, helped prompt behaviour change and foster social empathy.  

In this presentation we share preliminary findings from our UKRI/AHRC COVID-19 Rapid Response grant ‘Comics in the time of COVID-19’ drawing lessons from a sample of over 15,000 coded web-comics distributed on Instagram between March 2020 and March 2021. Our analysis looks both at artistic and storytelling elements in these web-comics, as well as at approaches to health, media and information literacies in order to inform best practice among a range of key stakeholders.  

Supported by this large-scale, evidence-based analysis, we argue that integrating data and comics in ways that humanise health  experiences can be a powerful tool for enhancing public health communications, understanding the literacy repertories citizens now need to interpret media, information and data and the benefits of this new knowledge for improving health equity.  

Anna Feigenbaum Administrator
Associate Professor in Communication and Digital Media

I am a writer, researcher, teacher and workshop leader specialising in data storytelling for civic good. From digging into dusty archives to data visualising absent deaths, I am drawn to the difficult, the messy, the ethically challenging questions that exist around the edges of debates over how we tell stories with science and data. As a consultant and trainer, I collaborate with charities, NGOs, Public Health organisations, investigative journalists and other researchers to explore empathetic and effective ways to tell data stories. I believe that it is often those without access to big budgets and fancy tools that hold the data stories we most need to change the world.

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Dr. Anna Feigenbaum delivers keynotes on Data Storytelling and COVID-19

Sketchnote illustration of Dr. Feigenbaum’s keynote address.

On The 27th of November 2020, Dr. Anna Feigenbaum presented a keynote presentation at the Data Storytelling Symposium hosted by the Data Stories project at Kings College London. She delivered her keynote address on Humanising Data Stories to a webinar audience of over 400 registered participants. Arising from work co-created with colleagues and PhD candidate Alexandra Alberda, the presentation explored techniques for telling more empathetic and effective stories both with and about data. Highlighting the ‘statistical chaos’ of COVID-19, Dr. Feigenbaum’s presentation showcased both her own comics collaborations with research illustrator Alexandra Alberda, as well as work of other comics artists and illustrators, both amateur and professional.  This keynote was part of a series of talks and workshop Dr. Feigenbaum and Alberda have given over the past few months, including participation in the ESRC Festival of Social Science and a keynote at BU’s EdD conference, as well as international conferences IGNCC and ISPIM and most recently the Coronavirus, statistical chaos and the news event co-hosted by Bournemouth University, the Royal Statistical Society and the Association of British Science Writers on December 4, 2020.

Illustration by Alexandra Alberda (comic script by Anna Feigenbaum, Alexandra Alberda and Yazan Abbas)

Dr. Feigenbaum joined a prestigious line-up of science journalists and academic experts, sharing pilot research that forms part of her upcoming UKRI/AHRC COVID-19 Rapid Response grant project on ‘COVID-19 Comics’. This project aims to enhance the role that comics can play in public health messaging through an analysis of the content, circulation patterns and social media engagement of webcomics about COVID-19. Dr. Feigenbaum leads a team of BU colleagues and partners as PI, alongside Alexandra Alberda, Professor Julian McDougall, Dr. William Proctor and Dr. Sam Goodman. Project partners are Public Health Dorset, the Information Literacy Network and the Graphic Medicine Collective. To find out more about this work or about hosting a data storytelling workshop for your project team, contact afeigenbaum@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Originally published at: BU Research Blog

Anna Feigenbaum Administrator
Associate Professor in Communication and Digital Media

I am a writer, researcher, teacher and workshop leader specialising in data storytelling for civic good. From digging into dusty archives to data visualising absent deaths, I am drawn to the difficult, the messy, the ethically challenging questions that exist around the edges of debates over how we tell stories with science and data. As a consultant and trainer, I collaborate with charities, NGOs, Public Health organisations, investigative journalists and other researchers to explore empathetic and effective ways to tell data stories. I believe that it is often those without access to big budgets and fancy tools that hold the data stories we most need to change the world.

follow me