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NNCORE in Helsinki

By Øyvind Vågnes on 31.05.2013 (07:00).

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I’m just back from the final Nordic Network for Comics Research conference in Helsinki, expertly organized by Kai Mikkonen, with a rich, varied and quite dense program. The highlights were indeed many. Ann Miller presented a great lecture on the comic as an example of political art – the first talk I’ve heard to draw heavily on Ranciere in the analysis of comics. I didn’t know Étienne Deavodeau’s work but will certainly look into it. Miller left me with pages of notes about ”the ability of comics to reconfigure the perceptual map.” There were many other memorable talks in Helsinki, but I’ll mention only one: Roger Sabin’s five discussion points, where he shared some reflections on the future of comics scholarship. Most of those who have read him know that Sabin is extremely smart and knowledgeable, but not everyone will know that he’s also very funny. He had a lot of very interesting things to say about peer review, open access, what he called ”the impact agenda,” the increasingly troublesome questions concerning picture permissions, and the conflicted relationship between comics research and fandom. It has been a great pleasure to be part of NNCORE from the very beginning and to see it grow under the focused and attentive leadership of Anne Magnussen. Now there is an initiative to see the project develop into a Nordic Association. Very exciting – more about in the not too distant future.

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