ACME Speaker Series Event 12 May: Clara Vilaboa Saenz and Eva Van de Wiele

12 May 2023 –  3 – 5 pm –  KULeuven, Mgr. Sencie Instituut MSI, room 02.15


Comics in the reading ecosystem: Discussing children’s comics as part of literary education in the Spanish Elementary School

The lecture by Clara Vilaboa Sáenz (PhD student of Education and Literature, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona)


Elementary Schools constitute a key context in the literary experience of the child reader as open, public spaces in which all children have an opportunity to encounter literature. This research project aims to analyse the literary and pedagogic value of children’s comics and focuses on the double impact that comics have as tools to promote reading and as strategies to develop the multimodal reading competence. To document and interpret the reality of comics in the reading ecosystem of the school, we have carried out an ethnographic, collaborative study on a public school in Spain (6- to 12-year-olds) that has focused on the needs, interests and challenges that appear when integrating comics in the school. Here, we have designed two main lines of action: the analysis of how comics are integrated and promoted from the school library and the analysis of the pedagogy implied in the promotion, reading and discussion of comics in a 4th-year classroom (8- to 10-year-olds). In addition, we have documented the perspectives of children, teachers, librarians and families to have a holistic perception of the role of comics in the school. This ethnographic study constitutes the core of the research project and has been complemented with a theoretical review of the research published on the intersection of comics and Elementary Education between the years 2000 to 2023. Thus, the project has allowed us to acquire a longitudinal and contextualised perspective of the role that children’s comics have in Elementary School.


Group discussion on Sugar, Spice, and the Not So Nice: Comics Picturing Girlhood

The group discussion will focus on chapters 1 and 9 of Sugar, Spice, and the Not So Nice. The book is available open access, and was edited by Dona Pursall and Eva Van de Wiele, Eva will chair the discussion.