Foreign Policy published an argument by two Cambridge academics who believe comics can become the savior of international connections:
In new research at the Cambridge University’s Bennett Institute for Public Policy and Oxford University’s Institute for New Economic Thinking, we are experimenting with a communications medium capable of blending both narrative and visuals: comics.
Defined as “sequential art,” comics generally communicate content through a series of images bound together in a linear narrative. Although there is some cultural variation in style and substance across countries, this familiar, accessible medium holds wide appeal and can convey the most nuanced or serious information to audiences everywhere.
Perhaps that is why comics are commonplace in classrooms and newspapers, and have also found application in health care, in science communication, and in helping people digest insights from data. Yet they’ve rarely been deployed in public policy discussions.
As it so happens, they have been, if you consider the 19th century French cartoonists who used their illustrations to comment on political affairs of the day (Honoré Daumier was one example), so this is a bit of an exaggeration. And the reason I doubt comics would avail in policy discussions is because the UN rejected Wonder Woman a few years ago as a mascot figure for one of their projects. If that kind of pettiness prevails in policy conferences, comics and cartoons won’t prove very influential, not even at universities, many of which already adhere to this kind of embarrassing leftism. On which note, the writers say at the end:
Still, time spent devising comics—or working on other forms of public engagement—counts for little in academic tenure or promotion decisions. That should change; it’s hard to reap the benefits of the billions of dollars spent on research if academics cannot convey why what they do matters.
Comics are one medium that can help bridge this divide.
If leftist social justice mentality dictates what makes for suitable material at universities and in politics, no, they can’t. So billions of dollars are wasted anyway, but no surprise leftist academics can’t figure out their communist approach is why their recommendations won’t succeed. And no surprise if Foreign Policy won’t acknowledge it either.
Originally published here.