This year’s installment was hosted by Professor John Bateman and Dr Heinz-Peter Preußer of Bremen University and included delegations from Bremen and Kiel universities. Meanwhile in Hamburg, a group of MA and PhD students gathered around Professor Thomas Weber and, with all of them being interested in what fellow students and staff in Bremen are currently working at, decided to also participate in the colloquium.
A group of six (Prof Thomas Weber, Dr Sigrun Lehnert, David Ziegenhagen, Irina Scheidgen, Henrik Wehmeyer, and your humble author of this piece), we met at Hamburg Central Station, took a train and then switched over to a local tramway that brought us directly onto the steps of Bremen University.
After having had initial trouble with finding the right location (those floors feel like mazes for an outsider!), we jumped right in and, after a few introductory words by John Bateman and Hans-Peter Preußer, heard Dr Jennifer Henke’s normative approach to the representation of science in graphic/novels and comics in her presentation “(R)Evolution im Comic? Zur Popularisierung von Naturwissenschaft in Graphic Adaptations” (On the popularization of science in graphic adaptations), which was followed by an open-floor discussion.
The following slot was reserved for Prof John Bateman and Dr Janina Wildfeuer, who presented a newly-developed multi-modal analytical framework allowing for closer linguistic analysis of comic strips and graphic novels, taking into consideration the manifold relationships and multilayered workings between different elements and levels of comic strip language and semiotics. Due to a late start, the following discussion round had to be kept rather brief, but was continued on a more informal level when all participants went for a lunch break, which was held at one of Bremen University’s cafeterias.
After a nourishing lunch break, Prof Matthis Kepser – with his talk “Der Bergfilm. Typologie eines produktiven Sujets” – introduced the audience to the movie genre of what is generally labelled “Bergfilm” aka. “Mountain Movie” and focuses on movies that have as their core subject the struggle between man and mountain, including films such as Louis Trenker’s “Berg des Schicksals”/”Mountain of Destiny” (1924), different takes on “Nanga Parbat” by Frank Leberecht, Hans Ertl, Donald Shebib and Joseph Vilsmayer (1936, 1953, 1986, 2010) or post-/modern takes on the subject such as Pepe Danquart’s “Am Limit”/”To the Limit” (2007) or Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” (2010).
Following a stimulated discussion about the influence of James Bond on the Bergfilm genre and other Bergfilm-related questions, Benjamin Moldenhauer introduced the audience to his current research project on Horror and self-reflexivity in “‘Pigs will get what pigs deserve’: Horror und Selbstreflexivität in Joss Whedons Cabin in the Woods“.
A short coffee break then led over to the last slot of presentations, which begun with Dr André Steiner’s approach to the topic of identity loss in movies in his talk “Identitätsdiffusion im Film: Rezeptive Orientierungslosigkeit von Der Student von Prag bis Inland Empire“.
Dr Janina Wildfeuer and Felix Engel concluded the colloquium with a presentation on “Musiksemiotik in Christopher Nolans Inception“, which introduced an approach to the use of music and sound as a means to semiotically link parts of a movie narrative which was exemplified by an analysis of the use of sound snippets of Edith Piaf’s “Non, je ne regrette rien” within the narrative of Nolan’s Inception (2010).
With the end of the formal colloquium, all participants then relocated to an Italian restaurant, where the whole group joined in for a bit of pizza, pasta and wine. Later, our small group of Hamburgians left in order to catch the last train to Hamburg – and was very glad to have been given the opportunity to participate in such an interesting, interdisciplinary format!