Steff Humm - Shelf-Expression How Creative Labour Practices Reinforce Discrimination and Inequality in Comics Circulation
02/07/2020 14:00 Room 2 #sheccp
The term ‘shelving politics’ refers to the implied meanings and messages created by the location and relational placement of products or artworks for sale, loan or interpretive interaction. For comics, this might include the impression customers form about individual titles, the medium as a whole or wider social issues reflected in content or authorship, based on the way the products are laid out, organised or promoted within a retail environment. The application of Bourdieu’s theory of cultural capital (1986) demonstrates that decisions about shelving may reinforce social inequality through exclusion, othering and canonical hierarchies, as accessibility is policed by the implementation of symbolic capital and consumers are discouraged from browsing beyond their assigned demographics.Through a simulation of shelving practices, this workshop will engage participants in the various methods of curating and canonising comics, encouraging them to consider how such decisions create messages that impact the potential for intersectional equality and/or discrimination within the wider comics industry. By physically taking part in meaning-making through experiments in different forms of organising comic books for sale, we will work to discover and discuss the nuances of comics circulation and the related consequences for audience development and the production of future comics.