Fragmented lives: representations of the self in Franco-Belgian autobiocomics

Cointot, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-7767-1193, 2017. Fragmented lives: representations of the self in Franco-Belgian autobiocomics. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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How do authors/artists represent themselves in comics? The thesis assesses what strategies are mobilised in comics in order to construct an autobiographical self. It explores to what extent the interplay of text and image in autobiocomics can propose new ways of approaching a self that is fragmented, complex and contradictory. As the thesis focusses on the artistic process of producing such fragmentations, my argument is that these fragmentations are represented in autobiocomics in creative and celebratory ways.

As I investigate the processes of self-formation, self-learning and self-transformation, I adopt the term 'self-crafting' – which emphasises the materiality of autobiocomics and their technical aspects – to refer to the textual and pictorial representations and questionings of these processes in autobiocomics. I examine 'self-crafting' as a relational process, one that relies on the ongoing interplay between text, image and frame, by means of detailed case-studies on the respective works of Judith Forest (2009; 2011), Lewis Trondheim (1995), Fabrice Neaud (1992-2002), Dominique Goblet (2007) and Bruno and David Cénou (2014).

Each chapter acts as a stepping-stone towards a more coherent articulation of the creative processes of comic production, and their significance in the representation of a sense of self. Shifting from a more inward-looking form of self-production, which folds the subject in on itself, to a more outward one, I approach autobiocomics not only as a contemporary form of 'self-teaching', but also in their potential for educating others. I investigate to what extent the multiplicities of self-representations in autobiocomics allow for explorations of social issues. I show the significance of the framing processes both in terms of formal composition – how each panel’s content complements and contrasts the others – and as a selective and interpretive act: how the formal frames work as interpretive frames that elaborate and validate a point of view, and how they reveal and unsettle normative representations, which open up possibilities for an ethical engagement with others, directed towards more overly collective political action.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Cointot, C.
Date: September 2017
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 22 Jul 2019 08:36
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2019 08:36

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