The first public event of the ROBOT101 series is this Thursday (September 29) at noon, in the Library East Reading Room. Lunch will be provided.

Virtual attendance via Zoom webinar is also available — check the events calendar for details.

“Work Must Not Cease”: Creating a Comic Adaptation of R.U.R.

Invited talk: Nick Johnson & Chris Murray (University of Dundee)

Karel Čapek’s play R.U.R. (1920), which gave us the term ‘robot’ and promptly envisaged a robot apocalypse mere pages later, is an oddly compelling mix of satire, science fiction, comedy, and tragedy. It’s a play about being trapped by the roles that others set for us. Society is a machine that produces beings every bit as programmed and restricted as the biomechanical robots that emerge from the factories.

A century after the play was written, Chris Murray and Nick Johnson have produced a comics adaptation of the play. Murray, who wrote the comic, is Professor of Comics Studies at the University of Dundee, Scotland, and Director of the Scottish Centre for Comics Studies. Johnson, an artist and graduate of the Comics Masters programme at the University of Dundee, created the artwork for the comic. Join Chris and Nick as they discuss the process of adapting the play into a comic. They will explore the various choices that shaped their adaptation, and how the comic is in dialogue with Čapek’s play and its legacy.