The Agency of the Periphery

Changes in Local Comics through Flows of Francophone Bandes dessinées to Sweden, 1950–2020

in European Comic Art
Ylva Lindberg Professor, Jönköping University, Sweden

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This study investigates how translation flows of Francophone comic art into the Swedish cultural space contributed to the development of local comics between 1950 and 2020. The data collection and analytical approach is inspired by ‘distant reading’ methods (Moretti 2013), focusing on general features, including author, genre, and mediation practices. The main results show that the importation of internationally established works, such as Tintin, legitimised comics as an aesthetic expression. A sharp divide between children's comics and adult comics is identified in the dataset covering the 1980s, whilst the first decades of the twenty-first century reveal an increase of female author/illustrators corresponding to local creative dynamics and exportation trends. The discussion highlights both Sweden's peripheral position and its achievement of agency in the circulation of comics.

Contributor Notes

Ylva Lindberg is Professor of Education, Language, and Literature at Jönköping University, Sweden. She has published several articles on the circulation of Francophone literature internationally and on the role of peripheries in global cultural exchanges. Her research in literature studies primarily focuses on the aesthetics and conditions of African Sub-Saharan literature. In Lindberg's study of comics, comics are discussed as a storytelling form that challenges social structures and prevalent conceptions of reading and writing in literature pedagogy. Her interest in transnational perspectives has generated new theoretical insights in literature studies regarding cultural hegemonies in movement. E-mail: ORCID: 0000-0001-86

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