I am a young academic-in-progress. And this blog is about my research-in-progress.
Blogs, too, are forever in progress, almost by definition.
As is science - conveniently enough.
Everything flows. So, I struggle to find the right founding words.
How about: "Welcome to my laboratory!"
Or is that a cliché?
What if I told you it's a figure of speech? That my laboratory is actually the aforementioned flow. Of ideas and of texts.
I am a cultural scholar: I do research on comics, literature, fiction and, especially, fictional characters. Pages, screens and panels are my Petri dishes. My brains and my colleagues my incubators. Different stories, characters and theories are the materials of which I stitch together my text-monsters. With whom I have very conflicted relationships.
If you - for whatever inconceivable reason - thought that academic life lacks drama and intrigue, I hope my blog will make you think again. As the funding periods and different research projects roll by, this page will hopefully gather (possibly toxic) by-products. Such as:
- light-hearted reports of conference trips
- (completely objective and analytical) thoughts on especially enchanting/repulsive comics/books I run into
- 100% hand-drawn, free-range meta-comics!
- updates on ongoing projects and unfinished manuscripts
- shameless advertising of new publications
- occasional rants by those dark corners of my persona that profoundly question the purpose and quality of everything I do - as well as science, art and humanity in general
- theoretical knots that won't stop bugging me until I write something about them
- possibly more lists.
I also enjoy words far too much for my own good, but I will do my best to keep the posts as snappy and readable as possible.
On that note, I won't bang on about myself too much here - for that, I'll create a separate "Bio" tab none of us ever has to read, because it's going to be waaaaay too long and smug. So, here is my career in a neat, pistachio grade nutshell:
- I'm a Licentiate of Philosophy (2013), an endangered academic creature that is not quite a doctor but can still laugh and point fingers at people with puny Master's degrees.
- All my degrees are from the University of Jyväskylä and my major has always been (comparative) literature.
- I have mostly studied comics, however. My main interest is comic book characters: what constitutes a character in the comics medium, how comic book characters are different from other types of fictional characters and how they evoke emotive responses in the reader. (Like so:)
- You are more than welcome to read my licentiate's dissertation A Frame of You: Construction of Characters in Graphic Novels HERE. (For FREE!! Yes, it's free! Click it! Click it!)
- I focus on Vertigo series (e.g. The Sandman, The Unwritten) and Alan Moore's works (Watchmen, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). Ambitious, intertextually loaded Anglo-American fantasy and horror comics tend to have good selections of freaky characters.
- I'm currently working on a compilation dissertation, in which I'll approach comic book characters from a handful of new perspectives. I want to explore what functions comic book characters serve in comics, in comic book culture and comic book industry - as well as in Western media culture at large. I'm told I need to be done with that in early 2017.
- After that, I'm going to look for postdoc trouble.