CJS Research Webinar – Manga and Handscrolls: Alleged Origins, Overlooked Correlations

Thursday 16 February
13:00-14:00 GMT
SISJAC, 64 The Close, Norwich, NR1 4DH and online via Zoom

About the Talk

Introductions to Japanese art history today often include references to manga, with the notion of manga ranging from cartoonesque drawings and “funny animals” to extended graphic narratives that intertwine text and image. Manga researchers, however, have increasingly argued for understanding manga as a fundamentally modern form of visual storytelling; they privilege film rather than premodern painting, while attempts at correlating contemporary comics with medieval handscrolls (emaki) are, with good reason, suspected of formalism and service to nationalism. But recent postdigital conditions suggest new commonalities between historically different forms of narrating through sequences of still images. This talk revisits manga’s most widely claimed “progenitors” not only with regard to critical deconstruction but the actual materialities at hand, their embodied reading, and the related participatory culture.

About the Speaker

Dr. Jaqueline Berndt is Professor in Japanology at Stockholm University. Her main academic work is on manga as graphic narratives from the perspectives of media aesthetics, new formalism, and art history. She directed the world-traveling exhibition Manga Hokusai Manga: Approaching the Master’s Compendium from the Perspective of Contemporary Comics for the Japan Foundation (2016-) and curated Manga: Reading the Flow for the Museum Rietberg, Zürich (fall 2021). She is chairperson of the Open Access book series Stockholm Media Arts Japan (Stockholm University Press), and one of the managing editors of Comics Studies: Aesthetics, Histories, Practices (de Gruyter). Find more information on Jaqueline’s publications on her university profile page and website.

Keen to learn more about Japan’s cultural influence? Check out our MA in Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies.

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