“The Middle Voice Of EcoComix: Reading Philippe Squarzoni’s SAISON BRUNE” (March 25)
The France-Florida Research Institute, University of Florida,
presents the next lecture in its virtual guest speaker series
“Francophone Artists, Bandes Dessinées, and Diasporic Graphics”…
The Middle Voice Of EcoComix: Reading Philippe Squarzoni’s SAISON BRUNE
Department of English, University of Florida
March 25 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm (EST)
French graphic journalist Philippe Squarzoni’s Saison brune (2012, 2019), published in English translation as Climate Changed: A Personal Journey through the Science (2014), is one of the most compelling ecocomix of recent memory. The book is noteworthy for the scientific rigor of its discussion of effects of anthropogenic global warming, and for Squarzoni’s sober reflections on his personal contributions to the growing crisis. In this talk I discuss the book’s distinctive, self-aware narrative presentation. I propose that visual and structural elements of the image-text are comparable to markers of the verbal category of natural languages known as the middle voice. These elements are cues for the book’s reflexive ethical argument: that the author and reader (Squarzoni, you, I) are called to bear witness to our complicity in the causes of climate change, and to confront imaginative and practical limits to our efforts to mitigate its effects. Squarzoni’s use of a comics middle voice has, I suggest, wider significance for the reception of autobiographical comics.