The Modern Language Association (MLA) Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives will host its first panels ever this coming weekend, Thursday through Sunday, January 6-9, at the MLA’s 126th Annual Convention in Los Angeles.

The Convention (for an overview of which, see here) will take place in downtown LA at the Convention Center and the nearby J. W. Marriott hotel. This year’s Convention boasts an unprecedented level of activity in comics studies, including the following three panels sponsored or co-sponsored by the Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives:

312. Comics and Conflict in the Middle East
Friday, Jan. 7, 1:45-3:00 p.m., Room 407, LA Convention Center
Presiding: Isaac Cates, Univ. of Vermont

1. “Graphic Narratives and the Suffering of Palestinians,” Aryn Bartley, Michigan State Univ.
2. “When We Were Kings: Representing Regime Change in Vaughan and Henrichon’s Pride of Baghdad,” Jonathan Gray
3. “A Female Prophet? Matriarchal Authority in Marjane Satrapi,” Rachel V. Trousdale, Agnes Scott Coll.

552. Drawing Women’s Lives
Saturday, Jan. 8, 1:45-3:00 p.m., Platinum Salon J, J. W. Marriott hotel
Presiding: Hillary Chute, Univ. of Chicago

1. “‘My Independent Jewish Monster Temperament’: The Serial Selves of Aline Kominsky-Crumb,” Tahneer Oksman, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York
2. “The Embedded Looker: Charting Narration in Graphic Memoir,” Robyn R. Warhol, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
3. “Arranging the Narration of Women’s Lives in Marjane Satrapi’s Broderies/Embroideries,” Stacey Weber-Feve, Iowa State Univ.

386. Graphic Aging
Friday, Jan. 7, 5:15-6:30 p.m., 407, LA Convention Center
Co-sponsored by the Discussion Group on Age Studies and the Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives
Presiding: Charles Hatfield, CSU Northridge

1. “‘Old Father, Old Artificer’: Time, Memory, and Aging in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home,” Michelle Ann Abate, Hollins Univ.
2. “Comics and the Problem of the Bildungsroman: Charles Burns’s Black Hole,” Christopher Pizzino, Univ. of Georgia
3. “Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth: Father as Fallen Superhero,” John David Schwetman, Univ. of Minnesota, Duluth

Respondent: Leni Marshall, Univ. of Wisconsin, Menomonie

These are by no means the only papers and panels of potential interest to comics scholars, nor certainly the only things of great interest at the Convention (which offers a wealth of programming, some 821 official events in all). There are also two other comics-themed panels, which are considered special sessions, that is, ones not sponsored by divisions or discussion groups; in addition, there are many other papers of relevance to comics studies. A complete listing of these other events can be found in another post, below.

We’re looking forward to a busy and productive MLA Convention, one that brings comics to the forefront of literary discussion! Hope to see you there.


  1. Members of this discussion group may be interested in the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing’s call for papers on Radical Print Culture, for our Affiliate Organization panel at MLA2012. The cfp can be found on the MLA site


    or on the SHARP website

    search for “Radical Print Culture” on this page:

    1. Thank you for this notice! Our own CFPs will be posted here soon, so please come back and take a look and pass the word along to your members!

      (I’ve been subscribed to the SHARP listserv and following its activities for years, so I’m excited to see this comment here!)

    2. PS. Readers, that first link to the SHARP call for papers may not work for everyone, as it links to a, I believe, password-protected site. Current MLA members, though, can sign in and access it.

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