Frames: Jewish Culture and the Comic Book
Princeton University Conference
April 9 and 10, 2015

Organized by: Charlotte F. Werbe and Marie Sanquer

Frames: Jewish Culture and the Comic Book poster

Frames: Jewish Culture and the Comic Book seeks to bring together scholars and artists in discussing the interchange of Jewish culture and the comic book. As a medium, the comic book has often been overlooked in its literary capacities and often been tragically relegated to a purely ‘comic’—or entertaining—form. However, recent shifts in comic consciousness demonstrate a newfound interest in discussing and analyzing the comic book as a distinct mode of representation—as an intersection of text and image.

This conference hopes to address the features particular to the comic book and how these features reflect and inflect, as well as reveal and conceal, Jewish traditions and identities. Drawing on the shift initiated by the underground comix movement, the comic book has progressively questioned its own limits. And, if comics are a “… window into the thinking process of the artist…,“ what can these significantly displaced, erased and contested “frame works” inform us about Jewish identity? How do the frames (and their subversions) of the comic book form offer a new window through which Jewish culture and Jewish identity can be understood? This conference will shed light on the roles Jews and Jewish culture have long played in the comic world: From the birth of the modern comic book to present-day representations of Jewishness; from Jewish-American superhero comics to domestic and international visions of Israel and the Jewish diaspora.

This conference will include an artist roundtable from 4:30PM – 6:00PM with Miriam Katin, Rutu Modan, Miriam Libicki and Liana Finck.

We are thrilled to announce that the exhibit Wanderings: Journeys in Israeli Graphic Narratives—curated by Assaf Gamzou (Curator of the Israeli Cartoon Museum) and Merav Salomon (Illustrator and Head of  Illustration Department, Bezalel Academy of the Arts)—will be hosted by Princeton University as part of the conference events. Assaf Gamzou and JT Waldman will speak at the exhibit opening: Thursday April 9, 6:00 – 8:00PM.


Support for this project has been provided in part by Princeton University’s Department of French and Italian, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the Graduate School, the Council of the Humanities, the Program in Judaic Studies, the Lewis Center for the Arts, the Department of English, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Department of Art and Archeology, the Program in American Studies, the University Center for Human Values, the Center for the Study of Religion, and the Lewis Center for the Arts.