© Dupuis 2023 Goscinny/Morris


Two lectures by two visiting PhD students at the UGent.

Tuesday 13 June 2023, 10h00-12h00 am | ULB, Brussels, campus Solbosch, room AY2.107

Illustration © Dupuis 2023 Goscinny/Morris


The Imaginary Wild West: Transnational Tropes and the Franco-Belgian Cowboys as a Tool of Self-Reflection (a lecture by Audrey Garcia, University of California, Irvine)

Narrating Uncertainty through Comics: Precarious Times and Ghostly Worlds in Citéville and Citéruin by Jérôme Dubois (a lecture by Rodolfo Dal Canto, University of L’Aquila)



 The Imaginary Wild West: Transnational Tropes and the Franco-Belgian Cowboys as a Tool of Self-Reflection (a lecture by Audrey Garcia, University of California, Irvine)

This project focuses on the trope of the Western and the Western cowboy firstly as a tool for transnational exchange and also for exploring national imaginaries, specifically, projections of Franco-Belgian identity. In this study, the prominence of the American cowboy rises to the forefront as I present the cowboy and the mythological West to be a “safe space” for Belgian comics to explore their relation to power and its identity through a third party. Because the mythologized West is an adaptable stage found within the adventure genre, it has potential to convey localized ideologies. Cowboys’ unique openness results from the fact that the “American” cowboy is truly not American at all; cowboys popularized by cinema are based on Italian Spaghetti Westerns or are inspired by tales of Mexican ‘vaqueros’. Therefore, the cowboy is a figment of imagination rooted in idealism and a mythologized version of the American West. The inherent transnationality of cowboys creates a figure capable of becoming adapted by any specific culture. The transnationalism of cowboys and geographic distance of its setting allows the genre to be used as a tool of fantasy that removes itself directly while maintaining its Franco-Belgian characteristics. Furthermore, the ability for these figures to travel internationally allows it to open pathways for various social commentary and expansion into new iterations of the trope.


Narrating Uncertainty through Comics: Precarious Times and Ghostly Worlds in Citéville and Citéruin by Jérôme Dubois (a lecture by Rodolfo Dal Canto, PhD student at the University of L’Aquila)

In 2020, French cartoonist Jérôme Dubois simultaneously published a couple of comics for two different publishing houses: Citéville, brought out by Cornélius, and Citéruin, released by Éditions Matière. The former features nine short chapters set in a major urban center, Citéville: here the characters are victims of various forms of systemic violence, within dynamics that border on dystopia. Citéruin looks like the same comic, with the division into short stories with the same title, identical layout and framing, with one fundamental change: the streets of Citéville are deserted, completely devoid of human presence, and the buildings seem to have been abandoned long ago or struck by a sudden catastrophe. Jérôme Dubois’ double work shows different levels of precariousness, which turn out to coexist in a layered dialogue. On the one hand, Citéville shows through a grotesque style some characteristics peculiar to our contemporary times, such as job precariousness or the difficulty of building a future within dynamics that are as rigid as they are absurd; on the other hand, Citéruin stages, through a story told by subtraction, the existential uncertainty of humanity as a whole. Through an original use of tools proper to the comic medium, the author makes human presence coexist with his own absence, inviting reflection on the time and space we inhabit, and the ruin inscribed in them. The presentation will navigate through these intersections, analyzing the two texts using an approach that links the themes related to ecocriticism, posthumanism, and precarity with the formal strategies through which they are told, using a medium-specific approach.

photo_2022-10-15_13-08-41 (2)


Comics in the reading ecosystem: Discussing children’s comics as part of literary education in the Spanish Elementary School

Friday 12 May 2023, 15h00-17h00 | KULeuven, Mgr. Sencie Instituut (MSI), room 02.15

The lecture by Clara Vilaboa Sáenz (PhD student of Education and Literature, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona) will be followed by a group discussion of the book in open access Sugar, Spice, and the Not So Nice: Comics Picturing Girlhood, ed. by Dona Pursall and Eva Van de Wiele (only chapter 1 and chapter 9).


Elementary Schools constitute a key context in the literary experience of the child reader as open, public spaces in which all children have an opportunity to encounter literature. This research project aims to analyse the literary and pedagogic value of children’s comics and focuses on the double impact that comics have as tools to promote reading and as strategies to develop the multimodal reading competence. To document and interpret the reality of comics in the reading ecosystem of the school, we have carried out an ethnographic, collaborative study on a public school in Spain (6- to 12-year-olds) that has focused on the needs, interests and challenges that appear when integrating comics in the school. Here, we have designed two main lines of action: the analysis of how comics are integrated and promoted from the school library and the analysis of the pedagogy implied in the promotion, reading and discussion of comics in a 4th-year classroom (8- to 10-year-olds). In addition, we have documented the perspectives of children, teachers, librarians and families to have a holistic perception of the role of comics in the school. This ethnographic study constitutes the core of the research project and has been complemented with a theoretical review of the research published on the intersection of comics and Elementary Education between the years 2000 to 2023. Thus, the project has allowed us to acquire a longitudinal and contextualised perspective of the role that children’s comics have in Elementary School.

Source: https://www.actes-sud.fr/catalogue/actes-sud-bd/les-noceurs


“Traduit du flamand”? How Les Noceurs (2010) by Brecht Evens found its way to France and French-speaking Belgium

Tuesday 25 April 2023, 13h00-15h00 | UGent, Campus Boekentoren, Blandijnberg 2: Faculteitszaal (1st floor)

The lecture by Timothy Sirjacobs (KULeuven, FWO) will be followed by a group discussion of the book in open access How Comics Travel by Katherine Kelp-Stebbins (only the introduction, chapter 1 and chapter 3).


In 2010 the French publishing house Actes Sud issued ‘Les Noceurs’ (original Dutch title: ‘Ergens waar je niet wil zijn’; English title: ‘The Wrong Place’) by the Flemish graphic novelist Brecht Evens (1986). Despite the financial aid by a prominent literary institution of his home region and its promotion of Evens’ work at the international festival of Angoulême (2009), this was still a seemingly audacious endeavor. Especially considering that at the moment of purchasing the translation rights (2009) the graphic novel was an unpublished graduate project of a then 22-year-old Flemish-Belgian graphic artist. In spite of these obstacles, the translation of the Dutch language original found its way in the catalog of an Arles-based publishing house that promotes writers such as W.G. Sebald, Imre Kertész and recent Goncourt-winning author Nicolas Mathieu. This presentation will thus be centered around the following questions: “How did ‘Ergens waar je niet wil zijn’ find its way to a French literary publisher, how was it received in France, and to what extent did this ‘French mobility’ influence Evens’ reception in the French-speaking part of Belgium?”

This case study is situated within the framework of BELTRANS, a joint project of KULeuven, UCLouvain and the Belgian National Library (KBR) that aims to analyze intra-Belgian literary translation flows between 1970 and 2020.

© Marco D’Alessandro

CFP — Comics Strike Back

Comics strike back: digital comics, digital audiences, digital practices

Location: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Ghent University, Belgium (blended)
Date: 11-13 July 2022

In collaboration with: COMICSSnIF – Studying ‘n’ Investigating Fumetti

Deadline for abstracts: 31 January 2022


Digital comics encompass a variety of works, ranging from print comics that are then digitised or pre-published online to e-comics that resist print publication and have stronger affinities with videogames, animations, and other digital products. Online or offline, static or animated, reproducing the page format or expanding beyond the borders of a screen, digital comics always imply some degree of adjustment of processes and habits, because comics are also cultural objects, creative practices as well as models of production and consumption.  Continue la lecture


Appel — Sur le journalisme

Fabrice Preyat, accompagné de ses collègues Olivier Koch (Université Nice-Sophia Antipolis) et Pablo Turnes, (Universidad de Buenos Aires/Alexander von Humboldt Foundation-Freie Universität Berlin), lance un appel à articles pour un numéro thématique de la revue quadrilingue Sur le journalisme consacré au journalisme graphique et reportage en bande dessinée.

Ce volume de la revue Sur le journalisme, About journalism, Sobre jornalismo souhaite interroger les « alternatives » que représentent la bande dessinée de reportage en considérant ses singularités narratives et éditoriales, ses relations à la profession, et les stratégies industrielles dont elle dépend. Il entend, dans ce but, explorer le genre de manière interdisciplinaire en privilégiant trois axes distincts, impliquant des approches relevant tant de la narratologie post-classique et de l’analyse de discours que de la sociologie, des études sur les industries culturelles et de l’histoire des médias et du journalisme.

Lire l’appel complet

ACME Speaker Series — Pablo Turnes

Trauma, memory and history. The (re)construction of the recent past in 21st Century Latin American comics

26 November 2021 — 16:00   |   ULB, Campus du Solbosch, Bâtiment A, Porte Z, 4e niveau, local 103 (salle de réunion) : A.Z.4.103

Jeús Cossio - Conga. Vida y muerte en tiempos del extractivismo (2014)

Jeús Cossio – Conga. Vida y muerte en tiempos del extractivismo (2014)

The Argentinian comics scholar Pablo Turnes will share an in-progress research project.

Project description

Since Maurice Halbwachs’ reflections, ‘collective memory’ has become an increasingly complex subject. How to tackle this issue from contemporary comics? Studies on memory and its representation in comics have been booming since the publication of Art Spiegelman’s Maus (1980-1991) and its impact on key memory studies scholars such as Marianne Hirsch, Michael Rothberg and Andreas Huyssen. These works were crucial to develop a reflection on how popular culture could contribute to new ways of grappling such complex historical events like the Shoah. Continue la lecture

Recontextualisation des fresques du Parcours BD


Fresque « Le jeune Albert » (Yves Chaland), 49 Rue des Alexiens, Bruxelles

Fabrice Preyat, Maaheen Ahmed et Erwin Dejasse se sont joint à une équipe pluridisciplinaire pour un projet de recontextualisation des fresques du parcours BD de Bruxelles qui, depuis plusieurs années, ont fait l’objet de critiques. Certains fresques ont en effet été épinglées pour les stéréotypes sexistes ou racistes qu’elles véhiculent. La Ville de Bruxelles a décidé d’entamer un travail de fond sur la présentation des œuvres afin de recontextualiser ces représentations. Le Brussels Studies Institute, ACME et le Centre belge de la bande dessinée s’associent pour cette mission et ont présenté leur approche afin de recontextualiser les fresques du Parcours BD de manière à la fois critique et pédagogique. Continue la lecture

Parution — 50 ans d’histoire des éditions Glénat

 50 ans d’histoire des éditions Glénat

sous la direction de Chris Reyns-Chikuma

Presses universitaires de Liège, coll. « ACME », 2021, ISBN: 978-2-87562-287-7


Suivant le mythe romantique du créateur isolé, la bande dessinée est le plus souvent présentée et étudiée à travers ses auteur.e.s (dessinateurs ou scénaristes) ou leurs œuvres. Et pourtant l’éditeur joue aussi un rôle capital dans la création. Il existe quelques études universitaires récentes sur les grandes maisons d’édition. Continue la lecture

Parutions récentes


Parution de Tintin Aujourd’hui, sous la direction de Michel Porret, Fabrice Preyat, Olivier Roche et Jean-Louis Tilleuil ; avec des contributions de plusieurs membres d’ACME ; aux éditions Georg. En voici la présentation :

  »Mettre en lumière l’importance exceptionnelle de l’œuvre d’Hergé dans l’histoire artistique et culturelle du XXe siècle, et mesurer, à l’aune d’approches inédites, le caractère mythique et universel des « Aventures de Tintin » et leurs prolongements dans l’imaginaire contemporain : tel est l’objectif de cet ouvrage, issu du colloque international « Tintin au XXIe siècle », ayant réuni scientifiques et tintinophiles en mai 2017 à Louvain la Neuve en Belgique. Les vingt sept contributions qui composent ce volume envisagent la traversée du siècle du voyageur reporter sous l’angle des territoires, des temporalités, de l’art et des métamorphoses. Elles démontrent que l’œuvre fondatrice d’Hergé a irrigué toutes les disciplines et épousé pléthore de formats, de médias. L’herméneutique qui accompagne « Les Aventures de Tintin » recoupe de nombreux champs. Tintin aujourd’hui en illustre l’évolution et interroge la pérennité d’une œuvre au prisme de son imaginaire. »


Parution du livre de Jean-Maurice Rosier aux éditions du Cerisier.


Dans la collection La Fabrique des Héros aux Impressions nouvelles, Björn-Olav Dozo et Dick Tomasovic signent ensemble un titre consacré à cette figure trouble et icône de culture populaire, entrecroisant regardes esthétiques, politiques et poétiques.