University of the Arts London
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Stephan Packard - Transnational Imagination and the Ideology of Fiction: Picturing Cultural Others in Intercultural Comic Publications

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conference contribution
posted on 2020-06-29, 09:15 authored by Stephan Packard
02/07/2020 15:00 Room 1 #traprn

Mainstream comics strive towards images of transnationality in various ways: by addressing international markets and audiences, by including transnationally diverse creators, and by depicting transnational settings and dramatis personae on their pages. As the latter are typically fictional, this practice usually includes the necessary invention of the transnational other – a freedom of imagination that might, however, similarly apply to the projected images of producers and audiences. As contradictions between different conceptions and material practices of transnationality arise, an ideological element of fiction may be traced that is situated beyond the naïve questions of confusing the fictional and the real, and that instead operates by confounding the social imaginary with possibilities of political agency. The talk will trace some examples of these contradictions through their aesthetic and stylistic consequences on the page and back to a reflection of the imagined transnational comic book marketplace.



Stephan Packard is Professor for Popular Culture and Its Theories at Cologne University. Research interests include semiotics; comics studies; censorship and other forms of media control; transmediality; narratology; as well as concepts of fiction and virtuality. He is President of the German Society for Comics Studies (ComFor) and co-editor of the journal Medienobservationen. – Anatomie des Comics. Psychosemiotische Medienanalyse (Göttingen 2006); Abschied von 9/11 (ed. with Hennigfeld, Berlin 2013); Thinking – Resisting – Reading the Political (Berlin 2013, ed. with Esch-van Kan/Schulte); Comics & Politics (Berlin 2014, ed.); Charlie Hebdo: Nicht nur am 7. Januar 2015! (2018, ed. with Wilde); Comicanalyse. Eine Einführung (2019, with Rauscher, Sina, Thon, Wilde, Wildfeuer).

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    International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference



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