The networked author: rethinking contemporary authorship through comics after the digital turn

01 November 2023 → 31 October 2026
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Comparative literature studies
    • Narratology
    • Visual cultures
    • Digital media
    • Painting and drawing
Asia Belgium Central Europe North America Northern Europe Oceania Eastern Europe Western Europe South America Southern Europe Contemporary German English French Italian Dutch Portuguese Spanish Iconography and analysis of images Surveys Language and text analysis digital comics authorship comics studies Digital Art History Digital media Literary studies Art Media
Project description

This project aims to investigate contemporary authorship in comics, examining how the concept is understood and focusing on the way comics are created, shared, and read in a digital environment. Comics are an ideal case study because they lie at the intersection of narrative and visual culture, displaying practices, symbolic apparatuses and production structures similar to, or shared by, other media. In particular, I argue that comics after the digital turn offer a test case for observing many recent dynamics that extend and problematize the broader concept of authorship. Through the overarching critical frameworks of media archeology and actor-network theory, the project will frame authorship to reconstruct the intertwined practices involving the production and reception of comics by a constellation of human and nonhuman actors, the structures that they configure, and the symbolic meaning that they entail. By shaping a novel systematization and combining different theoretical frameworks, it will investigate how the digital has brought to the fore novel network dynamics of comics production that go beyond the single author, related not only to renewed forms and practices of collective authorship, but also to new configurations of distributed authorship. Although these structures have been partly examined in relation to other medial traditions, comics provide new and diverse examples that help complexify and reframe the broader critical reflection.