Graphic Ethnography: Communicating Research through Comics

Explore comics as a medium for communicating research and learn how to do it yourself—no drawing skills required!

Monday, May 6, 3–4:30 pm Pacific Time / Tuesday, May 7, 8–9:30 am AEST

This session is FREE for EPIC Members during Learning & Networking Week

Graphic ethnography is on the rise! In a brief introduction we will explore how anthropological research has been presented in comic book genres, both historically and in contemporary writing. Participants will be able to engage with sample materials from a range of styles and comics traditions. Then, we will explore the creation of sequential art as a tool and medium for communicating research. Can sequential art be used to convey the value of ethnographic insights? What are the practical and theoretical opportunities and limitations of this tool, especially in comparison to traditional research outputs and the conventions of ethnographic writing? Session organisers will lead a hands-on workshop on the process of creating comics, focusing on constructing narrative, visual motifs, and storytelling for sequential art. By the end of the workshop, participants will share drafts of their own creations, and engage in a wider debate about conveying anthropological concepts through comics. No drawing skills required!


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Caroline Schuster is Associate Professor at the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, as well as Co-Director of the Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies, at the Australian National University. Her research interests include value, credit and debt, development policy and NGOs, finance and climate change, gender and kinship. Her graphic novel “Forecasts: A Story of Weather and Finance at the Edge of Disaster” was published in 2023.

Caroline Schuster

Associate Professor, Australian National University

Chitra Venkatarami is a lecturer in the College of Arts and Sciences at the Australian National University. Chitra works in science and technology studies and human-environmental relationships, and her first book, Drawing Coastlines: Climate Anxieties and the Visual Reinvention of Mumbai’s Shore, is an ethnographic account of how technoscientific images create coasts and coastal futures.

Chitra Venkatarami

Lecturer, Australian National University