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Thierry Groensteen

Abstract

Thierry Groensteen's memoir recalls the intellectual ferment of colloquia held at Cerisy-la-Salle in Normandy, subsequently the venue for two conferences organised by Groensteen himself. The first, the ground-breaking Bande dessinée, récit et modernité [Comics, Narrative and Modernity] in 1987, was a key moment in the history of the theorisation of comics as art form. Groensteen's own presentation explored the threshold of narrativity in comics, and other noteworthy contributions included those of the philosopher Henri Van Lier and Marc Avelot, whose reading of Martin Vaughn-James's La Cage rescued this masterpiece from obscurity. This conference also laid the foundations for the Oubapo movement, the production of comics under constraint, whose later development Groensteen chronicles. The second, ‘La Transécriture’, in 1993, was an early exploration of comics as part of a cross-media environment.

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Healing through Heritage?

The Repatriation of Human Remains from European Collections as Potential Sites of Reconciliation

Carsten Wergin

Abstract

This Forum contribution builds on the ethnographic engagement with restitution projects as places of transcultural encounter. Based on data collected in 2019 during repatriation ceremonies in Berlin and Leipzig, I show how a responsibility for human remains that was shared between European museums and Australian Indigenous custodians set in motion processes of healing, both among Indigenous groups and those working with these collections in Europe. I further argue that ethnographic museums change in these processes from supposedly passive exhibition spaces to spaces of socio-critical engagement. Finally, I explore the decolonial potential of such collaborative engagements with heritage within and beyond European borders that are motivated by provenance research and repatriation practices.

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Amy Reid

Abstract

Cultural heritage in Cyprus has been a contentious issue throughout the island's tumultuous history. The official partition of the island in 1974, after years of conflict between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, has resulted in the destruction and neglect of heritage sites on both sides of the Cypriot ‘border’. However, in recent years there has been an increase in organisations that aim to use heritage as a tool to unite both communities. This contribution examines the work of one such organisation, the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage in Cyprus (TCCH).

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Illegible Allegations

Navigating the Meanings of Rape in Colonial Algeria

Sarah Ghabrial

Abstract

Laws that shield men from punishment if they marry their victims are so ubiquitous that their genesis is impossible to identify. Rather than attempting to trace the colonial or pre-colonial “origins” of so-called marry-your-rapist laws in Algeria, this article examines particular moments within this thick history. It posits that Algerian colonial courts were sites of confrontation, misrecognition, and occasional confluence between local remedies for unlawful sex and modern legal conceptions of rape inextricable from medicalized methods of detection. Algerian litigants approached French courts in rape cases demanding forms of redress based in vernacular ontologies of equitable restitution and social cohesion. In turn, colonial authorities inferred equivalences between indigenous normative codes, Islamic textual prescriptions, and the French Code Pénal that reshaped the legal and social meaning of rape.

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Carl Plantinga and Malcolm Turvey

Friends and colleagues of Stephen Prince were shocked and saddened to learn of his death at the age of sixty-five on 30 December 2020 in Blacksburg, Virginia, after a brief illness. Steve was a good friend to many, a prolific scholar with a deep love of cinema, a beloved teacher, a trusted and valued colleague, and a generous mentor to younger scholars.

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Ann Miller

Abstract

In this interview, the Brighton-based comics artist Hannah Berry discuses her current role as Comics Laureate, which has included the commissioning of a survey into the conditions of work of comics artists in the United Kingdom and has demonstrated the financial hardship that most of them endure. She also talks about the importance of mentoring, organising work around childcare, and how she came to produce a weekly strip for the New Statesman. The interview then focuses on Berry's three published graphic novels, touching on the influence of films, the tension between storytelling and play with the codes of the medium, the use of gutters and text as elements in a horror story, comics as a corrective to fake news, and the political research that underlies satire.

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This interview with Paul Schrader, conducted by Todd Berliner, took place on 19 June 2020 as part of the annual meeting of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI). It has been edited and condensed for clarity. We are grateful to Mr. Schrader for his participation and permission to publish this transcription, to Professor Berliner for conducting the interview, and to Professor Carl Plantinga for organizing it.

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Introduction

Innocence and the Politics of Memory

Jonathan Bach and Benjamin Nienass

Innocence is central to German memory politics; indeed, one can say that the German memory landscape is saturated with claims of innocence. The Great War is commonly portrayed as a loss of innocence, while the Nazis sought, in their way, to reclaim that innocence by proclaiming Germany as the innocent victim. After World War II, denazification and courts established administrative and legal boundaries within which claims of innocence could be formulated and adjudicated, while the “zero hour” and “economic miracle” established a basis for a different form of reclaiming innocence, one roundly critiqued by Theodor W. Adorno in his essay “What Does Coming to Terms with the Past Mean?” In the 1980s, Chancellor Helmut Kohl's famous pronouncement of the “grace [Gnade] of a late birth” (also translatable as “mercy,” “pardon,” or “blessing”) became the touchstone for a resurgence of war children's (Kriegskinder) memory. In the 1990s, the myth of the Wehrmacht as largely innocent of atrocities was publicly challenged. Today, right-wing critiques that cast Holocaust remembrance as a politics of shame draw upon tropes of innocence, of German air war victims and post-war generations, while right-wing images of migrants are cast in classic forms of threats to the purity of the “national body” (Volkskörper). The quickening pace of contemporary debates over Germany's colonial past pointedly questions the innocence of today's beneficiaries of colonialism, drawing attention to the borders and contours of implication.

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Introduction

Re-viewing the Past and Facing the Future

Laurence Grove, Anne Magnussen, and Ann Miller

This edition of European Comic Art begins by adopting a retrospective viewpoint and ends with a look to the future, not entirely rosy but not wholly bleak. Our first article offers a reassessment of the relationship between Hergé's Tintin and conservative Catholic discourses of the 1930s. We then move on to a personal recollection of a landmark moment in the legitimisation of comics in France: the Cerisy conference of 1987. In our third article, two virtuoso comics autobiographers reflect (in an email discussion that took place in 2006, here translated into English for the first time) on the loss of the searching, edgy tonality of early comics life writing in favour of something more crowd-pleasing. Finally, a young Brighton-based comics artist shares her love of the medium and her experience of solidarity among her fellow artists but has a cooler appraisal of the current political scene and the health of the comics culture in the United Kingdom.

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Introduction

On a 1st Anniversary

Jonathan A. Allan, Chris Haywood, and Frank G. Karioris

Nota bene: This introduction was written near the end of 2020, a year that saw the world struggle with COVID-19. These issues make up the primary body of the below text. Yet, as we moved into the new year, perhaps thankful that 2020 had come to a close, on 6 January, and before the introduction was sent to publication, the US Capitol building in Washington, DC, was laid siege by far right extremists, White supremacists, and supporters seeking to stop the confirmation of the election of Joseph Biden. I [Frank] am reminded of a similar note I wrote in an article for the Sexual Violence Research Initiative's “16 Days of Activism” series in early December: “We write this post amidst political protests that have shaken Kyrgyzstan, with the recent election results being annulled. We send our thoughts for those working to ensure a fair, democratic, and transparent government; and hope for a speedabsy resolution to these issues” (Kim and Karioris 2020). In a similar sense, with the events still etched in our minds and processes just beginning to begin (arrests, an impeachment, etc.) and the inauguration still to come, we include this short note affirming our commitment to democratic principles, challenging violent masculinity, and supporting antiracist activism.