Köln -- Cologne, Germany, 28.-29. March 2019

Workshop Schedule


28./29.3.2019, University of Cologne

Building 106, Room S01
Universitätsstraße 37, 50931 Cologne

Considering how crucially comic book marketing depends on loyal customers, especially fans, and to how great an extent the ever-expanding franchises surrounding Marvel’s or DC’s comic worlds rely on user participation and fandom, it seems striking that the connection between Comics Studies and Fan Studies has hardly been explored in any great detail so far.

Is this because Comics Studies focus on the text and Fan Studies on its recipient? At least in Germany, Comics Studies have strong roots in (Comparative) Literary Studies, Art History, or Philology while Fan Studies are either grounded in Media and Cultural studies or in Sociology (focusing on individual and mass consumption practices or group phenomena).

In our 2019 Workshop on Comics/Fandom, we want to address possible overlaps and frictions between Comics Studies and Fan Studies


Attendants are kindly asked to register until March 17th 2019 at


The workshop is a collaboration between the Committee for Comics Studies (AG Comicforschung) and the Committee for the Studies of Fandom and Participatory Culture (AG Partizipations- und Fanforschung) at the German Society for Media Studies (GfM). It is organized by Sophie G. Einwächter (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt/Philipps-University Marburg), Vanessa Ossa (University of Tübingen), Véronique Sina (University of Cologne), and Sven Stollfuß (University of Leipzig).


Day 1 | 28.3.2019

14h-14.15h Welcome Address

14.15h-16.15h PANEL 1: Platforms, Exchange, and Markets

  • Nicolle Lamerich (Utrecht): Interdisciplinary Media Studies: Transmediality, Closure and Technology in Fandom and Comic Studies

  • Svenja Kaiser (Siegen): Money Does Not Matter? An Auto-Ethnography on Fan Comics and Digital Platforms as Means of Commercial exchange

  • Katharina Hülsmann (Düsseldorf): Navigating the Visibility of the Fan Comic

Respondents: Stephan Packard (Cologne) & Sven Stollfuß (Leipzig)

16.15h-16.30h Coffee Break

16.30h-18.30h PANEL 2: Nostalgia, Ideology and Politics

  • Giorgio Busi Rizzi (Bologna/Leuven): Seduction of the Innocence: Comics Fandom and Nostalgia

  • Franke Andersen/Thessa Jensen (Aalborg): Unravelling the Connections between Comics Studies and Fan Studies in the Context of Political Correctness: The Case of Hergé’s Boy Scout Reporter Tintin

  • Vanessa Ossa (Tübingen): Comicsgate (2018)

Respondents: Peter Scheinpflug (Cologne) & Tanja Weber (Cologne)

18.30h-19h Coffee Break/Snack


Matt Hills (Huddersfield): Transmedia Trajectories of Comic Book Fandom in an Era of Blockbuster “Cinematic Universes” and Franchise “Expansions”: Logics of Distinction or Conciliation?


Day 2 | 29.3.2019

9.30-10.15h Meeting of the Committee for Comics Studies (AG Comicforschung) and the Committee for the Studies of Fandom and Participatory Culture (AG Partizipations- und Fanforschung)

10.15-10.30h Coffee Break

10.30h-12-30 PANEL 3: Genre, Gender, and Marginalized Identities

  • Sydney Heifler (Oxford): Masculine Memory in the Creation of a National History: Fandom and Historiography of Western Comics through a Case Study of Romance Comics

  • Iris Haist (Cologne): Wonder Woman – Research on the Possible Influence by a Changed (Female) Readership on Story and Art Work

  • Shromona Das (New Delhi): Framing the Gutter: Mapping the Fandom, Materiality and Production in ‘Grassroot Comics’

Respondents: Véronique Sina (Cologne) & Peter Vignold (Bochum)

12.30h-14h Lunch Break

14h-16h PANEL 4: Comics Fandom and other (Sub)Cultures

  • Timo Thelen (Kanazawa): Searching for the Titans’ Home: Imagination of Place and Transnational Comic Fan Tourism

  • Monica Geraffo (Los Angeles): Secret Identities: Marvel Superheroes, Fashion Trends, and Subcultural Streetwear, 1975-1995

  • Frederik Gooding (Fort Worth): Without a Trace: Sketching out the Connection between Comics & Hip Hop

Respondents: Sophie Einwächter (Frankfurt a.M./Marburg) & Mathias Mertens (Cologne)

16h Final Discussion


application/pdf-icon workshop_schedule_comics_fandom_cologne_final.pdf