Crooked is the line at QHC in Vancouver

Crooked is the line at QHC in Vancouver

I had a blast at the Qualitative Health Research Conference in Vancouver leading a fantastic workshop on comics in qualitative research and giving a keynote lecture. The Zine workshop was a longer version of my classic studio experience, tailored for a diverse group of researchers interested in learning how comics and the Zine format can transform their work through creative, small-bites and small-moments approaches to data analysis and writing up! Below are some images from the session. Remember, if you want me to teach YOUR group how to make zines and have fun doing it, you can reach out to me via the ‘contact’ tab on this site!

My talk focused on making the case for comics and graphic novels in qualitative research as a way for reaching new, “unruly” publics. Here’s a quick excerpt:

“But beyond trying to unify the threads of a bifurcated life, my work as an artist and ethnographer is rooted in what Barone and Eisner call ‘redirecting conversations about social phenomena by enabling others to vicariously experience the world’. As most of my work is in cartoon form, this work seems to always encounter delegitimizing discourses; comics have found acceptance to some degree in popular culture and even in educational contexts, but are still only marginally acceptable in social science research. Gustavo Fischman (2001) writes that this is partly because ‘images and visual culture are not accepted forms of scholarly transmission’ (28) and our attempts at integrating it can create a slough of epistemological, methodological and general despond. Fischman further cautions us that the introduction of visual culture can be a truly wondrous thing to behold, as long as it is done mindfully and not ‘reduced to the repetition of the same questions and approaches that flaunt eye catching illustrations whose only object is to help in the marketing of a research project’ (p. 32). Art should make things more complex, not less. Art should be clarifying while simultaneously laying bare the complexity and contradiction in our work, and helping us resolve that by finding space to hold contradictory ideas, stories, and meanings at the same time.”

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