International Comic Arts Conference | Shaking the Foundations

Thursday, October 28, 2021toSaturday, October 30, 2021
BAnQ Auditorium, 475, De Maisonneuve East Boulevard, Montréal, QC, H2L 5C4, CA

The McGill Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montréal (CIRM) and the Montréal Comic Arts Festival (MCAF) are pleased to invite you to the Shaking the Foundations conference, from October 28 to 30, 2021 at BAnQ Auditorium, Montréal.

In addition to highlighting the MCAF’s 10th anniversary, this conference will bring together researchers interested in the comic arts and their creators for discussions and presentations of research and field work on the theme of Shaking the Foundations. Mario Beaulac, professor in comic arts at the École multidisciplinaire de l’image at Université du Québec en Outaouais, will oversee the event as scientific director.

Participation is free upon registration and the vaccination passport will be requested to be admitted. All the details can be found on the conference website.


Metropolis, Gotham City, New York, Berlin, Brussels, even Montréal—be they real or dreamlike, dark citadels or beacons of light, urban landscapes often find their way into the creative universes of comic creators. Through the trials of their protagonists and main characters, the city and its foundations are repeatedly abused, redesigned, and reimagined. Buildings are shattered or used as weapons by superheroes, locked in epic battles with their adversaries in the city. Protagonists commute through the city of the future, whether utopian or dystopian, where the artist has taken the opportunity to draw both the boundaries of the expected city and the attention of critics and readers to urban design and its limits. Other creators may subvert the medium’s conventions or use architectural and urban metaphors to deconstruct their stories. With each stroke of their pen, comic artists shake the foundations of the real and imaginary city, the ways it is represented, and the urban issues it faces.


Out of the thirty or so paper proposals received, the Scientific Committee of the conference chose eleven to be presented in four sessions. The following topics will be addressed:

  • Comics and museums;
  • Architecture in comics;
  • Subversion, feminism, and comics;
  • Dystopian towns in comics.

Opening conference

Cartoonist Jean-Paul Eid is the guest of honor at the opening conference. Having developed several experimental methods of exploded narration which seek to renew the relationship between the comic strip and the reader, Jean-Paul Eid will know how to talk to us about the role that the 9th art can take in the representation of what surrounds us.

Commented tour

The Montréal Comic Festival (MCAF) and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montréal (CIRM) invite Montréalers to (re) discover the Centre-Sud through a guided tour through the heart of its streets, to wonder about its identity and to identify some of the factors that have shaken this neighbourhood over the past decades. In the company of actors from the community and academics circles, this tour will be led by Richard Shearmur (CIRM / McGill) with the participation of cartoonist Richard Suicide, author of Chroniques du Centre-Sud. This course is part of the Shaking the Foundations conference and CIRM’s series Montréal : la cité des cités

Location: BAnQ Auditorium
475, De Maisonneuve East Boulevard

Date: from October 28 to 30, 2021

The activities will be held in English and French, as chosen by the presenters. Registration is required, as well as the vaccination passport.


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