Bande dessinée on the periphery

Tannahill, Lisa (2016) Bande dessinée on the periphery. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3176998

Abstract

This thesis examines how Brittany and Corsica are represented in the medium of bande dessinée. Both are peripheral French regions with cultural identities markedly different from that of the overarching French norm, and both have been historically subject to ridicule from the political and cultural centre. By comparing a fair selection of bandes dessinées which are either set in Brittany or Corsica or feature characters from the relevant regions, this thesis sets out to discover whether representations of Brittany and Corsica differ according to the origin of the creators of the bandes dessinées and, if so, how. To facilitate this analysis, the bandes dessinées included for study have been classified as either external representations (published by mainstream bande dessinée publishers and/or the work of creators originating from outside the two regions) or internal representations (published by local Breton or Corsican companies and/or the work of local creators). It transpires that there are clear differences between mainstream and local bande dessinée authors and illustrators with regard to their portrayal of the local culture of both ‘outlying’ regions. External representations rely on broad stereotypes and received ideas, while internal representations draw on local folklore, regional history and regional identity to create works with more local relevance. In some cases internal representations are or were clearly aimed at a local market, while others aim both at local readers and at the wider bande dessinée market. Those aimed at a wider readership have an additional function, namely that of promoting their regional cultures in French culture generally and offering an alternative to the stereotypical representations presented by larger publishers of bandes dessinées.
Brittany and Corsica are examined separately, each taking up roughly half of the thesis. Each half has the same general structure, beginning with discussion of how historical events have shaped perceptions of Brittany and Corsica in French popular consciousness, followed by analysis of the respective external representations and lastly internal representations. There are also two case studies of representations of Corsica in wider visual culture.
Owing to its widespread appeal, its adaptability and its capacity to reflect popular opinion in different sectors of society, the medium of bande dessinée offers a potentially rich field for the investigation of social and cultural attitudes and prejudices. It is hoped that this thesis points the way to further research on the topic.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: bande dessinée, Brittany, Corsica, regional identity, Bécassine, Tignous, O lo lê, Ololê, comics, comics studies, France.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PC Romance languages
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > French
Supervisor's Name: Grove, Professor Laurence and Davies, Doctor Peter
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Miss Lisa Tannahill
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7599
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 15:35
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 08:35
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/7599

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