Fumetti, Sequential Art, and Visual Narrative Building in Archaeology

I just sent an abstract to Vasko Demou, the organizer of the Bristol Theoretical Archaeology Group Meeting (TAG) session, Paper pasts: archaeologies of comics, comic-strips, cartoons, and graphic novels. I’ve wanted to write up my use of fumetti for outreach for a while, and this was the perfect chance, since I was going to TAG anyway to help organize the film festival. Here is the abstract:

Fumetti, Sequential Art, and Visual Narrative Building in Archaeology

Fumetti, or photo comics, are a powerful, but little used tool for narrative building in archaeology.  Easily created by a variety of image-manipulation software and distributed online, these examples of archaeological practice as sequential art find a wide audience who are unreachable in more traditional print or image formats.  The combination of images and text as a narrative makes nuanced archaeological interpretation easy to understand and pushes the archaeologist to take better, more descriptive photographs while conducting research.  In this paper I will describe the history and utility of creating fumetti, their distinct advantages as an interpretive and educational tool, and why comics matter for archaeology in the digital age.

It’s a very TAG-a-rific year for me, as I’m also the graduate student representative for TAG 2011 at Berkeley. Expect more about that soon!