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Contents of this Editorial

issue Welcome to the Spring issue of the EPOP Project

Newsletter. Popular Roots of European Culture through
1) EPOP database to be tested, p. 1 Film, Comics and Serialized Literature is funded by the
2) The Leiden EPOP members, p. 2 European Culture Programme 2007.
3) News, p. 3
Please send all contributions to: federico.pagello@unibo.it.
4) Recent publications on popular literature, p. 4

1) EPOP database to be tested

The diversity of the research output envisaged by EPOP demands a concerted and tightly controlled
data gathering effort. An online database will be created to aid in this effort. At the first meeting of the
EPOP project members, in Limoges in December 2008, a design for such a database was first sketched
out. Now the Géomatique department of the University of Limoges has implemented a prototype that
can be put to the test over the next couple of months.

The EPOP Project aims to deliver a diverse research The EPOP database will collect exhaustive
output, including a virtual museum, a collection of information about the canon of popular texts which
essays, a website, and an educational cd-rom. All of forms the root of European media culture. The stake
these products will be based on information is of great relevance, since the large popularity of
collected in a database. The usefulness of such a tool these works does not imply that we are provided with
is self-evident: the storage of qualitative information a specialized and full knowledge of them. Their
in a such a way that it can also be quantified enables ability to migrate from one medium to another and
the handling of a large amount of comparative data. across national boundaries make it, paradoxically,
It also allows new corpora to emerge from the data. difficult to trace the genesis and circulation and of
Furthermore, as an online resource, the database will popular culture texts. Using the tools provided by
give to the EPOP network members the possibility national libraries (notably through the The European
to contribute remotely according to their specific Library portal, which makes the catalogue of
competences. European libraries available at http://

search.theeuropeanlibrary.org/portal/en/index.html) When finished, the EPOP database will permit to
the EPOP network will try to fill the gaps in the rapidly obtain carefully verified information about
knowledge of this corpus thanks to the use of the the history of the texts to be studied. Which is the
archives and data supplied by previous research. first edition of a given work? How many translations
During the month of April an EPOP database have been made? What reviews are there? The
prototype will be tested by the EPOP network systematic addition of geographical data, concerning
researchers. Its framework was designed by Farid authors, editions, but also the narratives themselves,
Boumédiène, at Géomatique of the University of will allow the European dimension of the texts to be
Limoges. This experimental phase will last one explored as well, visualizing how they belong to a
month and be limited to written texts (novels, ‘ciné- transnational culture. In conclusion, the database will
romans’, feuilleton and comics). If the results are help us to understand how we get from the ‘roots’ of
positive the database can be placed online, completed media culture to the rhizomes and networks which
with a shared data capture interface (in PHP/MySQL grew up in nineteenth and twentieth-century
format). The prototype will then be extended to Europe, riddled by questions of national identity.
include performing arts and audiovisual texts.

to an ever-growing participation in print culture, both

2) The Leiden EPOP at the production and at the consumption end. The

members social significance of this vigorous development of

mass literacy can hardly be underestimated. The role
of all forms of popular literature in this development
In the previous newsletter we introduced the EPOP was obviously great.
team members of the University of Leiden: Adriaan Popular literature can be said to have been both
van der Weel from the department of Book and cause and consequence of the increasing
Digital Media Studies; Yasco Horsman from participation in print culture. It had an emancipating
Comparative Literature (both units in the newly function, but equally served to perpetuate stereotypes
established Institute for Cultural Disciplines in the of all kinds. That more attention for the
Faculty of Humanities); and Peter Verhaar, an IT phenomenon of popular literature is warranted will
specialist from the University Library. have become clear. This is as true from a book
The approach to Book studies taken in the Book studies point of view as it is from the perspective of
and Digital Media Studies department is inspired by literary studies, cultural studies, translation studies
the French Annales school, emphasising the role of and, not least, media studies. At the same time as the
the book in society at large. The best-known book’s social importance grew, new—mass—media
examples of major historical events in which the made their appearance, such as film, radio, and later
book was a decisive factor are no doubt the television. This meant that the place of the book in
Renaissance, the Reformation, and the scientific society had to be constantly redefined. Naturally, the
revolution. But the evolution of mass literacy in the definition of literacy, too, had to change along with
nineteenth century is no less momentous. the relative position of the book in the total
In the course of that single century in Europe a spectrum of the media.
virtually complete literacy was achieved. Social The department of Book and Digital Media
reform movements, followed by emancipation Studies is very pleased to bring its book studies
movements—of workers, women, religious groups, perspective to the EPOP project.
and ethnic and linguistic minorities—all contributed
meeting will be hosted by Pierre Marlet (ULB &
3) News Belgium’s national television network) and will bring
together several Hergé connoisseurs and/or comics
A Century of Italian Comics strip specialists: Jan Baetens, Vincent Baudoux,
The National Committee ‘A Century of Italian Philippe Godin, Jean-Claude Jouret, Philippe Marion,
Comics’ (Comitato Nazionale Un Secolo di Fumetto Jean-Louis Tilleuil, etc. It will take place March 17
Italiano) recently opened its website, which explores from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Salle du Conseil of UCL’s
the history of Italian comics through the most Faculty of Philosophy and Literature (Arts and
influential authors, works and characters. It can be Humanities) at 1, Blaise Pascal Sq. in Louvain-la-
accessed at http://www.fumetto100.it/ita/index.asp. Neuve (Belgium). Among other subjects, Hergé’s
Italian Comics were born in 1908 on the pages of Il influence on European comics strip and European
Corriere dei Piccoli and the Committee celebrates this identity will be discussed.
important anniversary with an exhibition entitled
‘Corriere dei Piccoli. Storie, fumetto e illustrazione
per ragazzi’ in Milan (22 January -17 May 2009, Colloquium on the comic strip
Rotonda di Via Besana, via Besana 12 ). Many more
activities are planned for the future, such as ‘Lire et produire des bandes dessinees a l’ecole’,
conferences, books and exhibitions. Centre de recherches en didactique de la
A number of books related to this celebration littérature, Université Stendhal Grenoble III, 19–21
were published last year also. May 2010 (http://www.fabula.org/actualites/
• About the history of Italian comics see the
collection of essays edited by Sergio Brancato: Il
The Centre de recherches en didactique de la
secolo del fumetto: Lo spettacolo a strisce nella
littérature (cedilit)is organising a colloquium on the
società italiana, 1908-2008, Latina: Tunué, 2008;
use of the bande dessinée (bd) in the (French) school
• About the history of Il Corriere dei Piccoli see the
anthology edited by Matteo Stefanelli and Fabio curriculum. Noting that the bd is beginning to be
Gadduci, Il secolo del Corriere dei Piccoli: Un’antologia del taken more seriously, the organisers aim to stimulate
più amato settimanale illustrato, Milano: Rizzoli, 2008; pedagogical and didactic reflexion on the use of the
• About Antonio Rubino, one of the greatest medium in schools. The focus will be on primary and
Italian comic artist who worked on Il Corriere dei secondary schools, but pedagogical experience with
Piccoli, see Santo Alligo, Antonio Rubino: I libri illustrati, its application in the university curriculum will also
Torino: Little Nemo, 2008. be considered.
Paper proposals may be sent to Nicolas Rouvière
(nrouviere38@yahoo.fr) or Jean-François Massol (j-
f.massol@wanadoo.fr) before 30 June 2009 The
Conference on Hergé
official language of the colloquium will be French.

‘L’affaire Hergé. Un mythe fondateur? Je dirais

même plus !...’ Conference Louvain-la-Neuve, 17
Colloquium on Jules Verne’s
March 2009
Celebrating Tintin’s 80 years, the ‘year of the comics’ Voyages extraordinaires
in Brussels, and the opening of a museum dedicated
to Hergé in Louvain-la-Neuve this year, the GRIT ‘Les Voyages extraordinaires de Jules Verne: de la
(UCL research group on Image and Text) is pleased création à la réception’, Centre d’études du roman
to announce a debate about Hergé’s works. The et du romanesque de l’Université de Picardie Jules
Verne, 18–20 November 2010 (http:// differences in the reception of individual works, and
www.fabula.org/actualites/article26107.php) is it possible to discern a geographical and
The colloquium will address questions concerning chronological order in the publication of translations
the authorial production of Jules Verne’s work on the or adaptations of the oeuvre?
one hand and concerning its public reception on the Paper proposals may be sent to Marie-Françoise
other. Of particular interest to EPOP members will Melmoux-Montaubin (marie.montaubin@laposte.net)
be the question about the reception of Jules Verne’s or to Christophe Reffait (christophe.reffait@free.fr)
oeuvre abroad. Are there national or regional before 1 September 2009.

Hermesmeier, Wolfgang & Schmatz, Stefan (ed.), Karl-

4) Recent May Jahrbuch 1935, Bamberg Rade-beul, Karl-May

publications on Verlag, 2009, 480 pages, http://www.karl-may-

popular literature verlag.de/modules/kmprod.php?
Petzel, Michael & Wehnert, Jürgen (ed.), Karl-May
Galli Mastrodonato, Paola Irene (ed.) Il tesoro di Emilio. Welten III, Bamberg Radebeul, Karl-May Verlag,
Omaggio a Salgari, Imola, Bacchilega Editore, 2008, 2009, 232 pages, http://www.karl-may-verlag.de/
160 pages, http://www.bacchilegaeditore.it/ frame.htm?http://www.karl-may-verlag.de/
home_bacchilegaeditore.php? modules/kmprod.php?index=B&nr=03027
n=libri&book_id=77&l=it. Hubbard, Tom (ed.), Rudyard Kipling, London,
Il tesoro di Emilio contains the proceeding of a Pickering & Chatto, 2009, 431 pages, http://
conference on to the work of Emilio Salgari, which www.pickeringchatto.com/major_works/
was held in Ostia Lido (Rome) on 2 and 3 April 2007. lives_of_victorian_literary_figures_part_vii
Contributors include scholars, writers, directors, and Stiebel, Lindy (ed.), Henry Rider Haggard, London,
journalists such as Giulio Leoni, Ann Lawson Lucas, Pickering & Chatto, 2009, 351 pages, http://
Maria Gabriella Dionisi, Daniele Cicuzza, Gianfranco www.pickeringchatto.com/major_works/
De Turris, Paola Irene Galli Mastrodonato, Ada lives_of_victorian_literary_figures_part_vii
Neiger, Roberto Fioraso, Fabrizio Foni, Claudio Gallo, Radford, Andrew, Victorian Sensation Fiction, New York,
Giulia Gadaleta, Corrado Farina, Nicoletta Gruppi, Palgrave Macmillan 2009, 217, pages, http://
Alessandro Bottero, Luigi De Liguori, Umberto Lenzi www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?PID=279173
(interviewed by Corrado Farina). Afterword by Marginalia: Bulletin bibliographique des études sur les
Vittorio Frigerio. littératures et les films populaires, n. 60, March 2009,

About this Newsletter:

EPOP Project Newsletter provides news about the development of the project activities and circulates
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