The Canon of Comics

Listen in pop-out player

A week of essays from five of the BBC Radio 3's New Generation Thinkers concludes with a look at the canon of comic books.

Trying to choose the canonical account from a contradictory collection of multiply authored narratives collated over extended periods of time used to be the business of biblical scholars, whose arguments for what should be included in the Book and what should be left out laid down strategies of persuasion that formed the spinal axis of what became the humanities.

New Generation Thinker Jon Adams argues that this kind of work is still being done today - except this time, it's being done by comic book fans, who - faced with contradictory, competing storylines must decide which are worthy of inclusion within any official backstory. Compared to the theologians of old, how are they faring?

The New Generation Thinkers are winners of the inaugural talent scheme run the BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to find the brightest academic minds in the arts and humanities with the potential to turn their ideas into fascinating broadcasts.

Release date:

Available now

15 minutes

Last on

Fri 20 Jan 2012 22:45

The Book that Changed Me

The Book that Changed Me

Five figures from the arts and science introduce books that changed their lives and work.

Download The Essay

The Essay podcast

Download all the episodes from the series and listen at your leisure.

Listen Online First

The Essay Online First

Hear all five episodes of the latest episodes of the Essay before they're broadcast