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Tintin at 85: Symposium at University College London, January 2014

#1 · Posted: 5 Oct 2013 13:18 · Edited by: jock123
We have recieved an e-mail from Peter Auger, about an event he is arranging for the start of next year.

He writes:
I am helping to organize a symposium (a day-long discussion) to celebrate Tintin's 85th birthday which, will be held on the 10th of January 2014, at University College London.
All are welcome to attend the event, and the organizers are keen to receive abstracts (ideas for talks) from the wider Tintinological community, i.e. not just academics.
The call for papers is copied below and is also available here.

Please advertise the event to all who might be interested, either in speaking or attending.
Thank you!

Here is the "Call for Papers" mentioned above:

Call for Papers: The Adventures of Tintin Symposium, London, 10 January 2014
Abstracts are now being accepted for a symposium on The Adventures of Tintin at University College London on 10 January 2014 in celebration of Tintin's 85th birthday.
Proposed essay topics should creatively engage with the critical, philosophical, cultural, or social issues explored in the Tintin universe.
All presentations will be considered for publication in a book of proceedings.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
· Tintin and Hergé
· Tintin and comic book history
· Tintin and detective fiction
· Tintin and the adventure story
· Tintin in translation
· Censorship of Tintin
· Tintin's spinoffs
· Tintin in adaptations
· Tintin in films
· Tintin fan culture
· Tintin and geography
· Tintin and travel
· Tintin as cultural phenomenon
· Travel and colonialism
· Treatment of race in Tintin
· Snowy as sidekick
· Animal welfare
· EcoTintin
· Tintin and gender
· Tintin and masculinity; homosocial relations
· Tintin in criticism

Submission Guidelines:

1. Submission deadline for abstracts (400 words) and a short biography (150 words) for your 20-minute presentation: 31 October 2013.

2. Please do not send documents as attachments.

Kindly submit abstracts, or any questions you might have about topics you might like to present, to the organizers at tintinat85 >at< outlook >dot< com
(replace the words between chevrons with the correct symbols).
#2 · Posted: 5 Oct 2013 13:34 · Edited by: jock123
I wrote to Peter to ask for a little clarification (some of which I have inserted above), given that not all of us have experience in presenting papers at a symposium, and might need some guidence about what is expected, and how much is needed for a talk lasting 20 minutes, etc.

His reply is below:

Thanks very much for your message. I realize that explaining potentially intimidating academic jargon is important when trying to create bridges!

The organizers of the 'symposium' (read: 'day-long discussion') arranged a Sherlock Holmes conference this summer which similarly brought together academics and a wider community of enthusiasts. The conference programme (see here) will give you a better idea about the wide range of paper topics that might be suitable.
As a day-long 'symposium', rather being held over two days, the Tintin event will be smaller, so may have to be a little more selective about papers.

I can answer the questions about abstracts as both a long-time Tintin fan and early-career academic in Renaissance literature with conference-going experience.
My general advice would be that papers (i.e. talks or presentations) should have a fairly specific theme, and should try to say something new that others attending can discuss and learn from, rather than just being celebrations of Hergé's achievement (though, of course, there is a place for that too...).
Asking a question at the start of the paper that you then answer in the remainder of the time is often a good way to approach it.
Interesting observations, new theories or ideas, or some rarely-discussed aspect of the adventures and their legacy might all be good topics.
The abstract is just meant to summarize what the paper will be about.
There's no set formula, but for someone who's never written one I'd recommend including the following:
· what the main question or point of the paper is in one sentence, with a longer explanation that in a little more detail;
· what the background is for making the point (What does the person reading it need to know? Who else has thought about the issue?; Why is it interesting?)
· what evidence will be discussed to make the point (e.g. which adventures); and
· what the rough structure will be (perhaps dividing the time up into smaller sections to help the audience follow it).

I find that a twenty-minute paper is about 3000 words if written down. If twenty minutes seems a long time, then joint papers presented by two people are definitely an option.

In regard to the question of copyright, the organizers are talking with Moulinsart at the moment about using images for advertising the event, and the use of pictures during talks will also have to come up.
Displaying copyright pictures as illustrations during a one-off presentation tends to count as 'fair use', but this is something we will need to check and confirm.

Copyright for the written content of the talk remains with the creator, i.e. whoever writes it. Illustrations in a potential book is a different matter completely, but that's a long way off.

I hope this is helpful! Please let me know if any of it doesn't make sense, or if you have more questions.
I would be very happy to provide informal advice about possible topics and abstracts: anyone should feel welcome to email me at the conference address with general ideas who isn't sure whether they'd like to suggest giving a paper or not.
All the best,

So, thinking caps on, everybody!

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