Comprehending Comics: Exploring Methodologies and Approaches to Comic Studies in History and the Social Sciences

The conference will take place online September 8-9, 2024. 

The keynote speakers will be Rachel Marie-Crane Williams and Marcus Weaver-Hightower.

Invited participants can fill out the registration form here.

You can read a Quick Guide to the conference here.

The conference and networking events will be run on the Zoom and Padlet platforms. 

Acceptance emails have been sent out, and the conference program will be posted in July. 



Comprehending Comics: Exploring Methodologies and Approaches to Comic Studies in History and the Social Sciences

The conference will take place online September 8-9, 2024. 

We are pleased to announce the keynote speakers will be Rachel Marie-Crane Williams and Marcus Weaver-Hightower.

Please submit your proposal by May 1, 2024.

Interest in comic studies have generated wide and varied interests from an exploration of visual language and narrative in sequential art to the use of technologies in comics, to considerations current questions in both contemporary society and history. These have led to fruitful research which cross disciplines and produced diverse and complex scholarship. Richard Scully have written extensively on political cartoons and their relationship with imperialism and colonialism. Amy Matthewson’s Cartooning China examined the British popular satirical magazine Punch and situated the series of cartoons of China and Chinese people within their geopolitical frameworks. Sheena Howard and Ronald Jackson’s Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation brought together a range of critical essays exploring contributions of Black graphic artists. Collections such as Drawing the Past Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (2022), edited by Dorian Alexander, Michael Goodrum, and Philip Smith, brought a range of scholars to unite around the broad theme of the historical imagination in American popular media. 

There is still an evolving consensus on which the methodologies that scholars specialized in fields of history and social sciences could use when engaging with comics. Often, research focused on comics-formatted primary sources is pigeonholed into literary study, or in other cases the linguistic framework of describing and analyzing comics fails to translate to a discussion of material culture. As the range of demonstrated methodologies is vast, and as the advancement of comics-based research offers new potential for the study of history and the social sciences, it is a crucial time to reflect and take stock of current practice and possible future directions. 

We are interested in all aspects of comics-format works, comics and graphic novels, and methodologies and themes that might address (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Representation in comics
  • The challenges of comics-based research studies as applied to the study of history
  • Historical aspects of visualities and comics in particular
  • The future of comics in research
  • Archeology and comics
  • Ancient and medieval history in comics
  • The effects of digital tools in comic studies
  • Comics and the politics of methodology – race, gender, sexuality, class, etc.
  • The transnational, transcultural, and/or interdisciplinary nature of comic studies
  • Teaching history with or through comics
  • Teaching comics-based research methods
  • Comics in memory studies
  • Tensions and concordances between art history and history of comics and graphic novels

We are now accepting proposals for papers (20 minutes) and panels (of 2 or 3 papers). Graduate students are also invited to submit a poster instead of a paper, if they choose, which will be displayed online for the duration of the conference. The poster section will enable asynchronous comments, and a presentation session where participants give a short 3-5 minute summary of the poster content. Please submit the following to or by May 1st 2024:

  • abstract of 300 words
  • a biography of 50 words including your name, email, affiliation, and gender pronouns

This will be an online conference hosted by the Comics Lab at Palacký University, Czech Republic. Given the international spread of contributors, participant time zones will be considered when scheduling panels. All conference registration fees and expenses are covered by Palacký University to guarantee fair access for all participants. The conference will take place September 8-9, 2024. 

 Fall Writing Workshop

October 2-6, 2023, at Palacky University in the center of Olomouc, Czech Republic, in cooperation with Comenius University, Bratislava, and the University of Graz.

UPOL students can sign up for a non-credited spot here. You will be notified if you are accepted via email.

You can also follow along on the workshop Padlet.

 Last year’s Padlet can be seen here 🙂


Come start or polish up your writing skills with comics, creative writing (poetry or prose) and academic writing! You’ll meet fellow writers from our three universities, make connections  face to face, get immediate feedback on your writing, and level up your skills.  You’ll spend 5 days in the historic city of Olomouc (just a short train ride away!), work with several different experts, and have time to fully focus on your writing projects, away from the distractions of your every-day life. It is possible to visit workshop sessions in different categories, or stay within one track. Did we mention that your participation is funded by Erasmus +? There are only spots for 20 lucky students (only 10 at Graz and 10 at Bratislava), so sign up while there is still space! This workshop is aimed at Masters and PhD level students, but very eager Bachelors students could also be considered. 

Comics: Intro to making comics, non-fiction and essayistic comics, fictional composition in comics, comics as memoir.

Creative writing: Poetry, slam poetry, fiction writing (sci fi and fantasy), short stories

Academic writing: Tips for the thesis or dissertation, different types of science communication, article writing


“How do I sign up?!”

You can sign up for a spot here.

If you are studying at the Faculty of Arts at Comenius University, contact Dr. Lacko at ivan.lacko (at)

If you are studying at the University of Graz, contact Prof. Maierhofer at roberta.maierhofer (at)

If you are studying at the Faculty of Arts at Palacky University, contact Dr. Woock at elizabethallyn.woock (at)

If you are studying at a different university, unfortunately this program is only offered to students from the host or partner universities. Please contact Dr. Woock if you have further questions.

“Is it ok if I miss a week of school at my home university?”

Students and doctoral candidates can receive 3 ECTS credits, but you will have to check with your study program coordinator to see if these can be used within your program. The workshop is run by the universities and is an Erasmus + Blended Intensive Program, so it should be a reasonable excuse to miss one week of class for an international exchange. Since you will know already in June, you can plan ahead with your professors to compensate for the time, or excuse yourself from class. 

“When will the next workshop be?”

If you are not sure if you want to come to this workshop, and you would like to wait for the next one, I have bad news for you. This is currently the only workshop of this type planned, so it is a one-time opportunity. 

“What can I do if the sign up is already full?”

If you missed your chance to grab a spot, we can put you on the waiting list, in case someone else drops out. 

“How can I get to Olomouc and where can I stay?”

Registered students from Graz and Bratislava have spots reserved in the dormitory-style rooms at Hotel Maria. They do not need to make any further reservations, they pay upon check-in and do not need to pay in advance. They will be sorted into rooms as they arrive. Information about transportation possibilities can be found by scrolling down on this page. 

“I’ve never worked on comics before – can I still come to the workshop?”

Sure! The workshop can help you if you are a first-timer, or if you’ve already worked on creating comics formatted projects in the past. This is also true for the creative writing, and the academic writing, though students are more likely to have previous experience with those formats. 



Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic, Sept. 12-16, 2022

Representing History in/as Comics: Ethics and Choice

You can download the Schedule and abstracts final!


We are hosting a 5-day combined conference, with traditional paper presentations and workshops, as well as round table discussions and practical workshop sessions, to address questions of ethics and choice in the depiction of history, the use of history, or historicizing elements appearing in graphic novels, comic books, comic strips, editorial cartoons, and newer forms of image/text such as webcomics and Internet memes. We welcome a broad interpretation of the topic, to be examined by scholars and comics creators alike. This event will take place in blended form, with both in-person and remote options for participation. Students and doctoral candidates receive 3 ECTS credits for their participation (awarded by the host university), and there will be no registration fees. 

We now invite proposals for 20-minute PAPERS for the conference part of the event. Possible themes include, but are not limited to: 

  • Regional history in comics
  • Significant historical events
  • Representation of perpetrators
  • Family history
  • Big history 
  • Ethics and the Anthropocene
  • Natural history and the history of humans in nature
  • War and conflict
  • National mythologies
  • Biographical and autobiographical comics
  • Comics journalism
  • Documentary comics
  • Ethical concerns of the comics format
  • Artistic choice in representation
  • Multimodality and ethics
  • Comics used in teaching history

We are also accepting proposals for other types of submissions:

  • For the round table discussions, please submit up to three question proposals to be addressed by the round tables, related (but not limited) to the themes above. Please include the term “ROUND TABLE QUESTIONS” in your email subject line. 
  • Posters, especially welcome for students or first-time conference participants, on any of the themes listed above. Please include the term “POSTER SESSION” in your email subject line. 

Please submit your question proposals, paper proposal (200 words or less), along with a short biography (100 words or less) by email to elizabethallyn.woock (at) by April 1st 2022. We’ll continue to accept late student proposals til the end of July.  Please specify if you anticipate attending in person or remotely. In the case of pandemic restrictions, the event will be moved fully online. 


For further information please contact: 

Elizabeth Allyn Woock: elizabethallyn.woock (at)

Dragos Manea: dragos.manea (at) 

Mihaela Precup: mihaela.precup (at) 

Ezster Szep: eszterszep (at) 

Barbara Postema: b.postema (at)

Johannes Schmid: johannes.schmid (at) 


Organized by Palacky University and the Erasmus+ BIP project “History in Comics”

DOWNLOAD  History in Comics – Ethics C4