All rooms are equipped with an overhead projector
Rooms C, D, E, F, G and H (H only on Saturday): slide projector (framed slides, carrousel. There are extra carrousels available to set up your presentation in advance)
Rooms C, D, M, N, O, U and Committee Room 2: beamer to connect your laptop. You have to bring you own laptop. (If you want to use your Apple notebook, please contact us, as it may be incompatible.)
Rooms C, T and U: VCR
|From Pyramids to Time Travel: The scientists as controller of fate|
|This paper offers to consider the image of the scientist as represented in the classic Franco-Belgian comic strip series “Blake and Mortimer.” In so doing, it shows that such an image became central to ideals of science-fiction by depicting the fight between good and evil as scientific extremes in the respective services of established and revolutionary orders.
The creation of Edgar P. Jacobs (1904-1987), Blake and Mortimer became one of the standard bearers of the Franco-Belgian comic strip tradition by the late 1940s. Jacobs, who had worked for Georges Rémi (Hergé) became one of the pioneers of the so-called “clear line” drawing, whereby shadows give way to detail and color. In parallel, “clear line” drawings assume new symbolic functions through the use of said details. This technique serves an important purpose, as it helped Jacobs cast his stories and create a surrealist scientific setting for his two heroes, Englishmen Blake and Mortimer. Blake, symbolizing muscle through a very gentlemanly officer of the Crown, generally acts in support of the brains, Professor Mortimer, a genius of sorts (though his actual achievements seem to be limited to smoking pipes) committed to checking the deeds of evil scientists. The series has aged well in terms of the quality of the art and the general storylines, but many details, from xenophobic situations to the non-existence of women, also identify it as a specific timepiece. This is reflected in the ten stories Jacobs published (an eleventh volume went unfinished) over three decades
The tensions the author created, however simplistic they may be (the volumes are directed at boys and young men), sent a clear message about the evils of science at the hands of ill-intentioned practitioners. In fact, the very nature of Jacob’s drawings shows how such ills might be debated among younger readers, who tend to side with the hero, a respected though staid scientist, rather than his opponents, scientists whose brilliance seemed to actually corrupt them into creating endless man-eating machines and losing control of them. Consequently, the reader accepts that science had its hero, but the latter defends a status quo ante: Not only are all adversaries eventually vanquished, but their inventions also disappear; the corollary is that Mortimer, through this obsession with control, is stuck in a kind dystopic world more reflective of the revulsions occasioned by the weapons of the two World Wars than of a willingness to see science innovate. The series thus serves to explore neuroses and childhood fears, but hardly interrogates the moral responsibility of the scientist as innovator, leaving readers to fantasize about an episode where Mortimer might actually lose, or simply go bad.