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Higher seminar: Reading Manga: Pictorial Narratives on Pages, Scrolls and Screens


Date: Wednesday 17 November 2021

Time: 14.00 – 15.45

Location: Zoom

Speaker: Professor Jaqueline Berndt.

This talk looks into the aesthetic experience of reading manga through the lens of materiality and embodiment. It introduces my conception of “Manga: Reading the Flow,” an exhibition on display at the Rietberg Museum, Zürich (until 30 January 2022), where it accompanies the show “Love, Fight, Feast: The Multifaceted World of Japanese Narrative Art.” In view of the assumption that the modern popularity of ‘story manga’ traces back to medieval Japan, the reading of multimodal narratives as provided by printed comics is contrasted with that of premodern handscrolls (emaki) on the one hand and digital webtoons on the other, putting an emphasis on the reader’s sensory, affective, and critical investment. As a result, remarkable correlations between past and present come into view, suggesting the historical contingency of “manga” and “reading” at stake today.

The seminar will be held via Zoom:

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