Framing the Path to Conformity: Comics Strategies and Social Justice in Barbara Yelin’s Irmina (2014)

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Abstract

This article investigates Barbara Yelin’s 2014 Graphic Novel Irmina in order to understand the narrative strategies employed by Yelin to demonstrate a character’s path to conformity with National Socialism, but also to raise an awareness of social justice and personal responsibilities in the comics’ readership. It transplants the idea of framing and precarious life from Judith Butler’s Frames of War onto the comics narrative strategy of frames and individual panels as well as the open space of the gutters. The interplay of text and images in the comic reveals the priority of visual framing and attention that would enable someone to develop compassion and recognize the lives of others as precarious. Within this naturalistic presentation, Irmina’s decline to a Mitläufer makes reference to the visibility – or absence thereof – of lives framed and recognized as precarious under the Third Reich.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-255
JournalSeminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

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