Will graphic novels ever be taken seriously as research outputs?
A professor at Stockholm University’s Institute for Turkish Studies, Dr. Jenny White Jenny White carried out a series of interviews about the ferocious political factionalism that tore apart Turkish society – and universities – in the 1970s. She initially planned to use the material for “a standard scholarly monograph”. Since academic analysis “flattened these stories into discussions of abstract issues”, she decided to try to “retain the nuances and contradictions of history as it is lived” by producing a graphic narrative. Turkish Kaleidoscope: Fractured Lives in a Time of Violence, illustrated by Ergün Gündüz, has just been published by Princeton University Press. It is part of a growing wave of graphic novels or narratives in which academics seek to make their research widely available. Though the book opens with a brief historical essay, it also makes use of composite characters. Yet Professor White was emphatic that the book was just as rigorous as conventional scholarly writing: “The images, clothing, actions, setting, as well as every word, were painstakingly chosen [and] checked for accuracy…My book is fiction, but it’s also true.”
International | Times Higher Ed