Drawn to Change: Academia, Activism, and the Potential of the Graphic Medium for Conscientizacao in Canada in the 21st Century

Our Spring 2013 Open Research Seminar season kicked off with a thoughtful and provocative paper on graphic novels, comic books, and their potential to inspire political engagement.

Delivered by Sean Carleton, a PhD candidate in the Frost Centre for Canadian & Indigenous Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, the paper made a strong case for the graphic novel and the graphic medium as “an important tool for activism and [for creating] a space for academics to consider the various ways in which the graphic medium can be further developed to cultivate conscientização in Canada in the 21st century.”

Carleton’s presentation drew an interdisciplinary audience from within the University and provoked lively debate during the question period on issues of representation, language and writing-as-process - topics being pursued by current CCS postgraduate students. Informal group discussion focussed on the potential for generating knowledge exchange, and an invitation was extended for our postgrads to participate in the annual Fall term Trent-Carleton University Graduate Student Conference.