Oxford and Nottingham

Month: November 2013

Illustration and Narrative Construction Conference: Paris 2014



Illustration and Narrative Construction
Illustration by James Abbott Pasquier for the September 1872 issue of Thomas Hardy’s A Pair of Blue Eyes in Tinsley’s Magazine.
(Image scanned by Philip V. Allingham)


International conference
Université Paris-Diderot, 28 et 29 March 2014
Call for Papers
            At a time of growing academic interest for the adaptation of fictional narratives across a range of different contemporary media (film, TV series, comic books, graphic novels), we would like to engage with illustration as the earliest form of visual adaptation of novelistic works.
            The general aim of this conference is to explore illustration in its specifically narrative dimension. The notion of narrative construction provides an interesting paradigm to analyse the relationship between text and image within illustrated works of fiction. Though each illustration may be said to have a narrative potential of its own which is revealed by the eye perusing it, it is the sequential dimension of narrative which will be our particular focus here.
The object of the conference is to examine how a series of images accompanying a narrative does not simply illustrate separate moments singled out from the text but forms a visual narrative through its dynamic relationship with the text. We shall thus study the different processes at stake and the ways in which images, in their three-fold articulation to the work as a whole—namely to the passage which they illustrate, to what precedes and follows in the narrative, and to the sequence of interlinked images—suggest a reading of a text and open up one of its narrative possibilities.
            The conference will focus on European novels from the early modern period to the present.
            Possible topics include:
-        The different illustrated editions of a text, targeting various readerships (bibliophiles, young people, etc.) and the type of visual narrative constructed to address each reading public
-        Diachronic analyses of the illustrated versions of a single text and of the transformations of narrative over time
-        Illustration as counterpoint to the text, constructing a parallel narrative, sometimes even contradicting the text
-        Serialized novels and the specific narrative dynamic put into play by serialization
-     The special cases of graphic novels and comic books adapted from works of fiction and the redefinition of the narrative dynamic brought about by these media

Alexander Mann’s Gnats – Proposal

All my abstracts and papers in the ART RESEARCH: Film, look illustration and transmedia category can be found here on ScribD.



rx Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;”> Beyond Film Proposal by Shaun Belcher

Tracking Time – PhD or publication proposal?


Stanley Kirkby: In the Woodshed.Edison Bell 8″ Radio Shellac Disc (c.1928-31)

Tracking Time: Art, Technology and Modernism in the Thames Valley 1850-1950
This proposed book is the likely outcome of a PhD which I will commence in the next few years – timing depends on how much support I get from my own or other institutions.

The subject is one very close to my heart as I grew up in the small railway town of Didcot Oxfordshire (originally Berkshire).

I hope to trace the myriad threads which informed artistic activity post-railway and how this brought phonographic, kinematic and wireless sounds and images to the Thames Valley area.


I will be drawing on the subject matter explored in my poetry ( Last Farmer : salt Publications 2010) and this in turn will feed back into the artistic research. The area was host to small artistic communities which used the railway as a means of ‘escaping’ from London. The Blewbury Artists and Long Wittenham’s connections to the Cockerel Press and Reading University will be explored.

I will also be looking at amateur examples of early photography and the military dissemination of technology. I also hope to link the spread of early phonograph equipment and recordings based on actual examples of early 19th Century artefacts that I collected from my country step-grandfather.


Alexander Mann Paper: Film-Philosophy Conference Amsterdam July 2013


I sent a submission to a Film Philosophy conference in Amsterdam and have been accepted so have three months to write paper detailed below. This will pull together all the research done as first year of M.A. which was put on hold whilst rejigged M.A. to be fine art and cartoon based (this blog). The previous research is specifically archived here https://shaunbelcher.com/rpt and merges into ongoing fine art’Projects’ here https://shaunbelcher.com/fineart/

The proposal which has been accepted is as follows:

mann1 mann2

Alexander Mann’s ‘Gnats’: Early film and photography in rural England as traced through an artist’s sequential narrative and sketchbooks.
Alexander Mann (1853-1908) landscape and genre painter was an early adopter, post impressionism, of photography and his sequential narrative in etchings ‘Gnats and other hindrances to the landscape artist’ of 1884 reveals not only an awareness of photography but hints at a wider filmic narrative.
It is the purpose of this paper to explore this folio work of Alexander Mann alongside his sketchbooks and relate this to the wider discourse around early cinematic and photographic technology,  artistic modernism, artistic communities and the railway. This will draw on Benjamin, Kirby, Solnit and Schivelbusch in attempting to uncover information from a neglected area of art history i.e. Artistic Modernism in the Thames Valley (England) and the spread of ‘new’ imaging technology from 1850-1914 through artists to the local community.
The paper will attempt to reveal a correlation between ‘experimentation’ with ‘new’ technology in post-impressionism in the English provinces with present day advances in pervasive mobile and digital imaging and its equivalent widening of participation in the processes of image creation.

Keywords: Early photography and cinema, sequential narrative, mobile technology, imaging, landscape and genre painting, etching, provincial modernism.




This blog picks up from July 2013 when I delivered my first paper on illustration and film at the film-philosophy conference Amsterdam.

This could be seen as the beginning of my ‘art-historical’ research for want of a better word.


© 2024 TRACK

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑