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What do we do this summer?

The third project meeting of 2019 was held in the beginning of June in Helsinki. Our plans include some program for the Helsinki Comics Festival this coming September, a migration-themed text book about comics analysis for high school teachers and university students, and an international conference in June 2020. But before these are at hand, our members are active in other occasions during the summer.

Johanna Rojola’s work is on display at the recently opened Mänttä Art Festival in Pekilo. This year the exhobition is titled “The Human Era” and it is curated by Marja Helander. 

Members of the project held a course called “Comics and Migration: Theory and Practice” at the University of Turku. The course ended well and in the coming months we might see some blog posts by the students as well. Ralf Kauranen will go through the course assignments, and he is also writing a biography of Leif Sjöström for the National Bibliography of Finland. Kauranen and Anna Vuorinne have also co-written an article with Viola Parente-Čapková about the comics of Kiba Lumberg for an English-German article collection about Roma representations in comics and comics by Roma authors. 

Anna Vuorinne has written a review about Leena Romu’s doctoral thesis. The subject of the thesis is the narratives of embodiment in three graphic novels by Kati Kovács, and the review is to be published in the journal Avain – Finnish Review of Literary Studies. Vuorinne is also preparing the symposium ”Participation and Communities in Comics” for the Nordic Summer University, in which Johanna Rojola will participate.

Hannele Richert is involved in the special comics issue of Iso numero (the Finnish version of Big Issue). The issue will be published in July, but why not buy the preceding issue already now. The special features five people's experiences of homelessness in the form of graphic stories. One of them is Samara: the first page of her story is now on the site and will later be published as a whole. Richert will update more comics content on the site during the summer. 

Olli Löytty held a presentation on Elias by Lauri Ahtinen at the conference of the Finnish Literary Sosciety. Kauranen and Löytty have also written about Elias in an manuscript on the representation of “the North” in Finnish comics on migration. At the end of August, Löytty will run a conversation in Helsinki about comics as a form of non-fiction. Löytty and Warda Ahmed are also preparing for The Science Forum at Rovaniemi in the beginning of September. Löytty coedited some of Stuart Hall’s articles into a book together with Mikko Lehtonen. They will also convene a session on the subject at the forthcoming conference of cultural studies and cultural policy studies in december.

Warda Ahmed will travel to Oxford in July together with comics artist and historian Ainur Elmgren. Their panel is titled “The Oral History and Comics” and the subject is the storyteller’s responsibility. Ahmed will also interview her aunts on this trip and collect material for her comics.

Aura Nikkilä is on parental leave at the moment due to the happy news in May.

Aura Nikkilä is on parental leave at the moment due to the happy news in May.

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℅ Ralf Kauranen, Kotimainen kirjallisus, 20014 Turun yliopisto
℅ Ralf Kauranen Department of Finnish Literature, FI-20014 University of Turku, Finland
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