Join Us at DH 2017 in Montréal

The annual DH conference, organized by ADHO (the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations), is coming up in two weeks and we’re looking forward to a great program and meeting up with colleagues and friends in Montréal from 8-11 August. If you want to hear about some of the work we’ve been doing recently, please join us on Wednesday, 9 August, for Jochen’s poster presentation titled „Design of a Corpus and Interactive Annotation Tool for Graphic Literature“. On Thursday, 10 August, at 1.30 pm Alexander and Rita’s will be talking about „Corpora and Complex Networks as Cultural Critique: Investigating Race and Gender Bias in Graphic Narratives“ (venue: Art 260). Hope to see you there!

Poster TeaP 2017

Wir haben ein Poster auf der 59. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen (TeaP 2017) vorgestellt.

Wir zeigten, dass der Raum zwischen Panels einen bedeutsamen Einfluss auf die Zeitwahrnehmung sowie die visuelle Aufmerksamkeit hat. Dazu wurden subjektive Einschätzungen und Blickbewegungen erhoben.

Download PDF

Die Zusammenfassung wurde im Tagungsband veröffentlicht:

Hohenstein, S., & Laubrock, J. (2017). Eye movements and processing of temporal information in comics. In T. Goschke, A. Bolte, & C. Kirschbaum (Eds.), Abstracts of the 59th Conference of Experimental Psychologists (p. 220). Lengerich: Pabst.

University of Oxford Network Features Article on Research Group

A brief summary of some of the work we’ve been doing in our  group can now be found on the blog of TORCH, the University of Oxford’s Research Centre in the Humanities. As part of its activities, Oxford has recently started a network and series of lectures on graphic narrative titled „Comics and Graphic Novels: The Politics of Form“. Organized by Dominic Davies, a British Academy post-doctoral fellow in the Faculty of English, the network has already welcomed speakers such as David Lloyd and Roger Sabin. You can read the blog entry and find more about the network’s activities here.

Edited Volume Under Contract with Routledge

We’re happy to announce that our  collection of essays Empirical Approaches to Comics Research: Digital, Multimodal and Cognitive Methods is now under contract with Routledge and will be published in the series „Advances in Comics Studies“ in late 2017. Alexander Dunst, Jochen Laubrock, and Janina Wildfeuer will edit the volume, which will feature contributions by well-known researchers in computer and cognitive science,  linguistics, media and literary studies, including John Bateman, Bart Beaty, Neil Cohn, Christophe Rigaud, Tim Smith and Ben Tatler. The collection will be the first of its kind, establishing the practical and theoretical motivations for the quantitative study of comics, manga, and graphic novels and aim to become a reference for anyone interested in the scientific study of art and literature.

Upcoming Talks

Our two abstracts for the annual meeting of the German-speaking DH association in Bern (DHd 2017, 13-18 February) have just been accepted. Sven Hohenstein and Jochen Laubrock will present work on „Space and time in comics: The role of the gutter on perceived time“, and Jochen Laubrock, Eike Richter, and Sven Hohenstein on „Visual elements of graphic literature: Attention allocation and objective description.“

Jochen Laubrock will also present at ICPEAL 2016 Guangzhou (Dec 7-10) and at the Berlin Comics Colloquium at Humboldt University on 25 January 2017. See:

Conference Program: The Empirical Study of Comics (7-9 February 2017)

We’re excited to post the program for our upcoming conference, which we’re organizing together with Janina Wildfeuer and which will take place in Bremen in February. It’s a great lineup, featuring some cutting-edge research in what is a growing and increasingly diverse field, and we’re looking forward to meeting colleagues from across Europe and North America. We do have limited seating at the venue, however, so if you want to participate in the conference please get in touch with Svitlana Zarytska at to reserve a spot.


The Empirical Study of Comics

7-9 February 2017
Bremen University, Germany

 Venue: Bremen University, Guesthouse Teerhof (Auf dem Teerhof 58, 28199 Bremen)


Tuesday, 7 February 2017:

09:30-10:00:    Introductory Statement

10:00-12:00:    Multimodal Analysis and Linguistics I

John Bateman (Bremen): From Creative Freedom to Empirical Studies via Qualitative Descriptions: Annotation Schemes for Comics and Graphic Novels

Christoph Wolf (Bremen): Culturally Motivated Layout Choices – A Comparative Study of Japanese Mangas and Western Comics

Pascal Lefèvre & Gert Meesters (Brussels/Lille): The Interpretation of an Evolving Line Drawing

12:00-13:30:    Lunch Break

13:30-15:30:    Multimodal Analysis and Linguistics II

 Neil Cohn (Tilburg): Visual Language Theory and the Scientific Study of Comics

Chiao-I Tseng (Bremen): Tracking Character Developments and Events in Graphic Novels

Anna Lena Rodewald (Bremen): The Representation of Superhero(in)es in Comics

15:30-16:00:    Coffee Break

16:00-17:30:    Digital Approaches to Comics I

Bart Beaty (Calgary): What Were ‘Golden Age’ Comics: Formal Strategies at the Origin of the American Comic Book

Christophe Rigaud, Jean-Pierre Burie & Karell Bertet (La Rochelle): Computer Vision Applied to Comic Book Images

John Walsh, Shawn Martin & Jennifer St. Germain (Indiana): ‘Spins A Web Any Size’: Topic Modeling a Corpus of American Comic Book Fan Mail

19.30               Conference Dinner @ Ratskeller Bremen


Wednesday, 8 February 2017:

 10:30-12:00:    Digital Approaches to Comics II

Mihnea Tufis & Jean-Pierre Ganascia (Paris): Crowdsourcing Annotations for Comics Corpora

Alexander Dunst & Rita Hartel (Paderborn): From Canon to Corpus: The Quantitative Study of Graphic Narrative

12:00-13:30:    Lunch Break

 13:30-15:30:    Cognitive Processing and Comprehension I

 Ben Tatler (Aberdeen): Eye Movements and Image-Text Integration

Olli Philippe Lautenbacher, Kai Mikkonen & Maarit Koponen (Helsinki): Reading Comics – Tracking the Process

Hans-Jürgen Bucher (Trier): How Informative Are Information Comics? Results from Empirical Audience Research Including an Eyetracking Study

15:30-16:30:    Poster Presentations

Sven Hohenstein & Jochen Laubrock (Potsdam): Temporal processing of visual narrative: The gutter and the reader’s attention

Linda Knief (Bremen): Text and Moving Images: Relations between Media

Oliver Moisich (Paderborn): Focalization in Comics as a Cognitive Concept

Julia Round & Paul Fisher Davies (Bournemouth/Sussex): Visual and Verbal Analysis of Misty

Marina Ruiz Tada & Olena Vasylets (Barcelona): The Role of the Reading Path for Learning from and the Perception of Manga

Janina Wildfeuer & Nancy Guo (Bremen): Exploring the Narrative Representation of Inset Panels in Comic Books

Francisco Veloso, Janina Wildfeuer, John Bateman & Felix Cheung (Bremen): An Empirical Investigation of the Semiotic Potential of Comic Book Page Layout: from the 1930s to 2010s.

16:30-18:30     Cognitive Processing and Comprehension II

Joe Magliano (Chicago): What Can Be Learned About the Psychology of Comics by Studying How We Process Adapted Narratives?

Lester Loschky (Kansas): Understanding the Moment-to-Moment Processing of Sequential Narratives

Olivia Rohan & Ryoko Sasamoto (Dublin): Sound Effects in Japanese Comics: An Empirical Eyetracking Study in Multimodal Reading


Thursday, 9 February 2017:

 10:00-12:00     Cognitive Processing and Comprehension III

Jochen Laubrock, Sven Hohenstein & Eike Richter (Potsdam): Cognitive Processing of Text and Image During Comics Reading           

Tom Foulsham (Essex): Eye-Tracking, Comics, and the ‘Reading’ of a Scene

 12:00-13.00     Concluding Remarks