Reading comics for the field of International Relations: Theory, method and the Bosnian War

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Series Details Vol.23, No.3, September 2017, p557-580
Publication Date September 2017
ISSN 1354-0661
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This article draws attention to a medium that has escaped the attention of International Relations scholars: comics. Comics are combinations of text and drawings and they come in a variety of formats: as newspaper strips, as stories printed in magazines and as long narratives presented in free-standing books. Comics have been central to how generations of children have encountered foreign places and comics artists have successfully captured public attention, with comics offering explicit engagements with foreign policy events.

Theoretically, comics provide a unique combination of text and images through which central questions on the research agenda of International Relations scholars working on visuality, practices and intertextuality can be pursued. Drawing on comics scholarship, this article presents a theoretical framework aimed specifically at analysing comics as international relations. Methodologically, it provides criteria for the selection of comics under study and a case study of three comics engaging the Bosnian War.

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