Scholars talk in toon to fight rise of jargon

March 2, 2007

Have you ever struggled to make it through the often turgid language of traditional academic papers and monographs?

Two academics frustrated by the impenetrable nature of some colleagues' work have launched a unique challenge to "academic conventions". Their book, Archaeology Is a Brand: The Meaning of Archaeology in Contemporary Popular Culture , is the first scholarly tome to tell stories through moving cartoon images.

The book, by Quentin Drew of the University of Wales, Lampeter, and Cornelius Holtorf of the University of Lund in Sweden, contains more than 60 individual cartoons and two moving cartoon stories that are revealed when the reader flicks through 180 pages.

Mr Drew said the cartoons not only offer "light relief and an oasis of humour in an otherwise academic text but also create a narrative that takes some debates further."

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