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Communication Dans Un Congrès Année : 2023

The graphic reason. Investigating the comicization of French speaking political science


The French literary field has been witnessing a growing trend for the last decade : numerous scenarii of comic strips as well as specific collections are now being invested by politically grounded investigations. This new genre is spurred by a myriad of journalists, activists and academics themselves (be they historians, economists, sociologists or political scientists) who use visuals in their narration of politics. We shall contribute to the newly founded IPSA RC by investigating the logics that support the translation of political and sociological inquiries into comic books. We address the « comicization » of political social sciences with a mixed internalist and externalist approach. It elaborates on a statistical survey assessing the social properties of relevant academics (age, status, institution, scientific recognition, mediatic capital, political involvement…) added to twelve in-depth interviews with editors, cartoonists and social scientists who are engaging in visual political science. First, we shed light on the social characteristics and incentives of scholars involved in comicization : What are their positions in the academic field ? Their expectations from comicization (beyond enlarging their audience) ? Are they driven by political, scientific or teaching motivations ? How do editors and publishers come into play ? Second, we investigate more precisely to what extent visual political science is a resource to better understand and explain the social world. Obviously, since comicization is not the sheer illustration of existing text books, it entails a twofold process of artistic creation and scientific re-creation that has its pros and cons. In other words : What creative potential does such a medium enable, in terms of translation and dissemination of science ? What type of constraints are experienced when time-consuming scientific works, resorting to nuance and scientific cumulativity, are translated into images and phylacteries or bubbles ? What type of scientific practices can be reproduced and narrated ? Based on an ongoing research that started in 2021, we expect to bring new insights into the analysis of visual politics, as we address the value of comic books as media for politicization and scientific dissemination.
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Dates et versions

hal-04304398 , version 1 (24-11-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-04304398 , version 1


Thomas Alam, Nicolas Bué. The graphic reason. Investigating the comicization of French speaking political science. 27th IPSA World Congress of political science, International Political Science Association, Jul 2023, Buenos Aires, Argentina. ⟨hal-04304398⟩
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