19-21 FEBRUARY 2020 


Wednesday, 19 February 2020 

09.30 – 10.00 Registration

10.00 – 10.15 Welcome address: Kristy Beers Fägersten and Anna Vuorinne

10.15 – 11.55 Session 1: Feminist and anti-feminist expressions
Chair: Anna Nordenstam

  • Oskari Rantala, University of Jyväskylä: “A story of being seriously pissed off”. Anti-feminist subversion of comics intertexts and manufacturing political controversy 
  • Katja Kontturi, University of Jyväskylä: Kullervo as a Finnish myth of (toxic) masculinity
  • Susi E. Mikael Nousiainen, University of Jyväskylä: Discussing sexual play and normativity in ​Sunstone
  • Ralf Kauranen & Olli Löytty, University of Turku: Feminist information and empowerment confronting online misogyny: Johanna Vehkoo and Emmi Nieminen’s Vihan ja inhon internet

12.00 – 13.00 Lunch

13.10 – 14.25 Session 2: Sexual agency and sexual abuse in comics
Chair: Laura Antola

● Raisa Aho, Tampere University: Reframing the story: Isolation and community in two contemporary graphic narratives about sexual violence
● Dragoş Manea & Mihaela Precup, University of Bucharest: “Who are you crying for?”: Sexual abuse and the ethics of empathy in Nina Bunjevac’s Bezimena
● Anna Vuorinne, University of Turku: For sex-positivity: Sexual agency, polyamory, and pleasure in Ulli Lust’s Wie ich versuchte, ein guter Mensch zu sein

14.25 – 14.45 Break

14.45 – 16.00 Keynote lecture:

Leena Romu, Tampere University
The narrative complexity of showing and telling sexual violence – Kati Kovács’s comics as a test case

16.00 – 16.15 Break

16.15 – 17.05 Session 3: Victimhood and trauma
Chair: Anna Vuorinne

● Malgorzata Olsza, Adam Mickiewicz University: The questions of feminism, Fun Home, and form in Wanda Hagedorn’s graphic memoir Totalnie Nie Nostalgia
● Shromona Das, Jawaharlal Nehru University: The perfect victim: Reading victimhood in rape narratives in Indian comics

18.00 – 19.00 Tour of Serieteket: Ola Hellsten, Elin Jansson, Tomas Antila

End of day


Thursday, 20 February 

08.50 Announcements

09.00 – 11.00 Session 4: Artist panel
Chair: Margareta Wallin Wictorin

● Mētra Saberova, London South Bank University: Animation and radical body art-reaching beyond the border
● Juliana Hyrri, Helsinki: Spaceship to the unknown
● Taina Hakala, Helsinki: Women in art history
● Johanna Rojola, University of Turku/University of Helsinki: “Money, race, gender, and economics in comics” 2014-2016 – Investigating and drawing the power structures in comics on our own
● Rakel Stammer, Malmö: The underground of fanzines

11.00 – 11.10 Break 

11.10 – 12.40 Session 5: Gender perspectives on comics in Italian and German
Chair: Biz Nijdam

  • Rebecca Scherr,University of Oslo: Background stories in Gina Siciliano’s The Life and Times of Artemisia Gentileschi
  • Camilla Storskog, University of Milan: Modest Maiden, Poster Girl, Liberated Woman? The stripping of A Doll’s House in the Italian 1970s
  • Marina Rauchenbacher and Katharina Serles, University of Vienna: Theorizing visualities of gender and feminism in German-language comics
  • Anna Beckmann, Free University Berlin: Ambiguous gender identities in German comics

12.45 – 13.45   Lunch

13.50 – 15.30 Session 6: Educational, sociological and philosophical perspectives on comics
Chair: Mike Classon Frangos

  • Gunnar Krantz, Malmö university: Safety in numbers – Challenging norms on the Swedish field of comics
  • Lars Wallner & Robert Aman, Linköping University: Challenging gender norms through comics in the classroom
  • Sara Teleman, Konstfack: Feminist comics, the next generation – Intersectionality in practice
  • Marco Favaro, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg: Super(anti)heroines: The threatening and revolutionary force of superwomen

15.30 – 16.00 Break

16.00 – 18.00 Artist roundtable, moderated by Anna Vuorinne and Laura Antola

Sofia Olsson, Artist and Publisher at Galago (Sweden)
Nina Hemmingsson, Artist and Publisher at Kaunitz-Olsson (Sweden)
Moa Romanova, Artist (Sweden)
H-P Lehkonen, Artist (Finland)
Ingrīda Pičukāne, Artist (Latvia)

18.00 – 18.30 Drink/mingle

18.30 – 20.30 Dinner

End of day


Friday, 21 February 

08.50 Announcements

09.00 – 10.40 Session 7: Women War Witnesses. Panel on war comics by women: Challenging genre and gender norms while doing justice to the past
Chair: Leena Romu

  • Warda Ahmed, Artist/University of Turku
  • Ainur Elmgren, Artist/University of Helsinki
  • Reetta Laitinen, Archivist/Finnish Comics Society
  • Tiitu Takalo, Artist

10.40 – 10.50 Break

10.50 – 12.05 Keynote lecture:

Elisabeth El Refaie, Cardiff University
Challenging binary categories of gender, sexuality and corporeality through metaphor in autobiographical comics

12.10 – 13.10 Lunch

13.15 – 14.30 Session 8: Women in Asian comics
Chair: José Alaniz

  • Shambhavi Singh, Aalto University: In search of the ‘common woman’
  • Wajeehah Aayeshah, University of Melbourne: Exploring the F in P: Feminism in contemporary Pakistani comics 
  • Henri Nerg, University of Jyväskylä: Christian allegory and feminist re-contextualization of Puella Magi Madoka Magica

14.30 – 14.40 Break

14.40 – 16.00 Session 9: A multidisciplinary study of feminist comic art. Papers from a research project funded by the Foundation for Baltic and Eastern European Studies (Östersjöstiftelsen)
Chair: Kristy Beers Fägersten

● Anna Nordenstam, Gothenburg University & Margareta Wallin Wictorin, Karlstad University
● José Alaniz, University of Washington
● Elizabeth ’Biz’ Nijdam, University of British Columbia

16.00 – 16.15 Closing remarks: Laura Antola, Anna Nordenstam, Margareta Wallin Wictorin

End of symposium