Ryerson University

 

“Telling Stories Without Words: Visual Communication in Silent Comics”

Eric Drooker’s Blood Song (2002) and Shaun Tan’s The Arrival (2006) both tell complex stories—of violence and alienation, of immigrant experiences—and communicate an array of sensory and emotional experience, without the use of text beyond their titles. In doing so, they participate in a broad tradition of wordless graphic storytelling. This project challenges the established notion that the comics form must involve the combination of words and images. By isolating the “visual track” of graphic narration, the texts studied create narratives that transcend linguistic boundaries, and so constitute a literary genre uniquely open to cross-cultural reading and interpretation. This study builds a novel theoretical framework blending semiological and narratological methodologies, illuminating the aesthetics of silent comics as a genre. The book project addresses this genre historically, tracing its development from the 19th century to the present, and looks comparatively at comics from North America, Europe, and Asia, while readings of the social themes of these works engage theories of urban and visual culture, and gender.

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship Project (2013-2015)

Supervisor

Dr. Irene Gammel

Click here to read Dr. Postema's bio.

The Great War in Literature and Visual Culture

MLC Themes

The Great War in Literature and Visual Culture

Amid the unprecedented social change of World War I, women renegotiated their identities by dramatically changing the way they engaged with the arts. But how did they do so? And how did everyday citizens engage with the war?

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

MLC Themes

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, considered by many to be the mother of Dada, was a daringly innovative poet and an early creator of junk sculpture. “The Baroness” was best known for her sexually charged, often controversial performances.

Modernism in the World

MLC Themes

Modernism in the World

Recent research has departed from the Euro-centric and national view of Modernism to include approaches and methods studying Modernism across national boundaries and across different art forms to include fashion, dance, performance, technology, and visual culture.

Lucy Maud Montgomery

MLC Themes

Lucy Maud Montgomery

L.M. Montgomery is perhaps Canada's most important literary export. She was prolific writer of over 500 short stories and poems, and twenty novels, including the beloved Anne of Green Gables.

Canadian Modernism

MLC Themes

Canadian Modernism

The works of numerous Canadian authors who lived during the modernist era may well constitute the most central and experimental articulation of Canadian modernism in prose, allowing authors to stage cross-cultural, controversial, and even conflicted identities.

Modernist Biography and Life Writing

MLC Themes

Modernist Biography and Life Writing

Life writing, including autobiographical accounts, diaries, letters and testimonials written or told by women and men whose political, literary or philosophical purposes are central to their lives, has become a standard tool for communication and the dissemination of information.