Call for Participants: Online Autumn School

»Graphic Knowledge: Comics, Research, Communication«

(University of Kiel, Germany, 12-14 October 2020)

What can comics know? At the CLOSURE Interdisciplinary Autumn Online School, we would like to explore forms of knowledge encoded in text and image, in panels and sequences, and in cartoons and symbols. Together with the participants, we will explore how the complex medium of comics represents and negotiates individual and collective knowledge, semiotics and social relationships, and performs and re-informs knowledge.

Early career researchers, students and others interested in the subject matter are asked to contribute perspectives from their own fields. We ask: how is the concept of ›knowledge‹ understood in diverse disciplines; what is assumed about knowledge and what forms of knowledge are excluded; and in which text/image combinations is this knowledge presented?
Under the direction of a comic artist, the participants will be guided in how to research through and with the comic form, gaining insights by designing panels and text boxes, sequences and cartoons. This is aimed at participants of all abilities in illustration – there’s no need to be a professional comics artist to participate!
We will also provide a forum for critical engagement with the notion of ›knowledge‹ and comics. In one regard, we examine the representation of concrete areas of knowledge in comics, asking: how do comics convey knowledge? How is disease and health represented and treated in Graphic Medicine? How do non-fiction comics deal with Economix? How do webcomics subvert cultural knowledge? From another perspective, we also look at knowledge that is laid out in the comics form — and how does the reader decode this? Comics are the medium of »unforeseen connections« (Sousanis 2017), which questions dominant forms of knowledge, posing alternatives in multimodal text/image combinations. This leads us to enquire about how the unique form of comics as a medium functions as ›knowledge about knowledge‹.

Workshop leaders

Workshop leaders include Prof. Jörn Ahrens (JLU Gießen), Prof. Friederike Rückert (European University Flensburg), Gesine Wegner (Universität Leipzig), and members of the CLOSURE team. Our practical workshop will be led by an experienced comics artist.


If you are interested in joining the CLOSURE Interdisciplinary Autumn Online School (CIAOS), please send a short abstract explaining your interest in Graphic Knowledge (approx. 200 words) to The abstract (like the Autumn School as a whole) can be in English or German.

The deadline for submissions is 15.08.2020.