„Illustrators in Residence“: Discovering great art in small things

Although picture books, comics or graphic novels are often similarly complex works of art as classical literature, their authors are often only perceived on the sidelines – both in the public and in academia. Changing this circumstance is the goal of the new teaching and research project "Illustrators in Residence", in which Prof. Dr. Ina Brendel-Perpina (representative of the Chair of German Didactics at the KU) is involved. In a kick-off at the KU, the artist Antje Damm will provide insights into her work in an online presentation on Tuesday, January 26.

Antje Damm uses special techniques for her illustrated children's literature: For example, she recreates rooms from cardboard elements, places cut-out figures in them, colors and illuminates the scenes differently, and takes pictures. In this semester, Damm is a guest at the KU as well as at the University of Bamberg (Prof. Dr. Andrea Bartl), which is also participating in the project. The University of Duisburg-Essen (Prof. Dr. Tobias Kurwinkel) has invited the illustrator Tobias Krejtschi as its guest for the project.

"Ilustrators in Residence" follows the American tradition of inviting contemporary authors for readings and seminars. The focus is currently on picture books – in the future, also other forms of art such as comics, graphic novels, artists' books, etc. will be introduced. Part of the concept are courses in literary science and didactics. In these seminars and exercises, students deal with the respective work analytically in terms of literature and media studies on the one hand, and, on the other hand, they will deal with possibilities of mediation in terms of literature didactics, especially with regard to reading promotion and motivation. Students thus try out a form of teaching literature that should be part of the repertoire of reading promotion in schools today: Meetings with authors or illustrators belong to the group of reading-animating methods that build reading motivation, enable follow-up communication, and promote lasting literary reading experiences.

On the other hand, in addition to studio discussions, lectures, and workshops, the “Illustrators in Residence” project also plans a book series, a research network, and the expansion of the existing homepage www.illustratorsinresidence.de. The book series will include literary and didactic contributions on the biography of the respective illustrator, on their work, on the scientific reception, and on the integration of the work into German lessons.

The talk with Antje Damm will be held on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 in an online format starting at 6.00 p.m. If you would like to participate, please register prior to the event by e-mail to kjlmeetsku(at)ku.de .