In addition to the three panels sponsored by our Discussion Group, there are many other events on the MLA 2011 program relevant to comics studies. Notably, there are two special sessions, that is, independent panels, in the comics field:

175. Narrative Imag(in)ing and the Comics of the Hernandez Brothers
Friday, Jan. 7, 8:30-9:45 a.m., Olympic III, J. W. Marriott
Presiding: Jennifer Glaser, Univ. of Cincinnati

1. “Serialization, Character Dynamics, and Narrative in Gilbert Hernandez’s Love and Rockets,” Christopher Gonzalez, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
2. “Strategizing Popular Genre in the Works of the Hernandez Brothers,” Derek Parker Royal
3. “Emotion, Cognition, and Race in Los Bros Hernandez,” Frederick Luis Aldama, Ohio State Univ., Columbus

Respondent: Charles Hatfield

382. Graphic Novels and Cultural Memory
Friday, Jan. 7, 5:15-6:30 p.m., Diamond Salon 6, J. W. Marriott
Presiding: Astrid Boeger, Hamburg Univ.

1. “Hybrid Narratives, Hybrid Identities: Line Hoven’s Graphic Memoir Liebe schaut weg (2007),” Stefan Hoeppner, Univ. of Freiburg
2. “Beyond Genre: Autobiography, Cultural Memory, and History in Comics,” Lan Dong, Univ. of Illinois, Springfield
3. “Comics as a Counterdiscourse of Cultural Memory,” Dirk Vanderbeke, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitèt

Unfortunately, this second panel, Graphic Novels and Cultural Memory, is scheduled opposite the panel Graphic Aging co-sponsored by our Group and the Discussion Group on Age Studies. Ouch! A regrettable conflict, outside of our Group’s control.

In addition to the above special sessions, comics will be prominently featured in a session linked to this year’s MLA Presidential Forum topic, Lives and Archives: Finding, Framing, and Circulating Narrated Lives Now:

505. Lives and Archives in Graphic and Digital Modes
Saturday, Jan. 8, 12:00 noon-1:15 p.m., Platinum Salon C, J. W. Marriott
Presiding: Julia Watson, Ohio State Univ., Columbus

1. “Comics Form and Narrating Lives,” Hillary Chute
2. “Automedial Ghosts,” Brian Rotman, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
3. “What Is Worth Saving? The Salvage Work of Comics,” Theresa Tensuan, Haverford Coll.

Wait, there’s more! A search of the MLA Convention program reveals several other papers that focus, or appear to focus, on comics or cartooning. These can be found within sessions on various topics not limited to comics. We list these papers here, by session and paper title, without listing all the other enticing paper topics involved in these sessions:

13. French Noir: Film, BD (Bande Dessinée), Roman
Thursday, Jan. 6, 12:00 noon-1:15 p.m., 402B, LA Convention Center
2. “Revisiting the French Noir: The Birth of Adele Blanc-Sec,” Anouk Alquier, Smith Coll.

33. Arab Literature and Commitment
Thursday, Jan. 6, 12:00 noon-1:15 p.m., 406B, LA Convention Center
2. “Muslim Women in Naif Al-Mutawa’s Comic Book The 99,” Shirin E. Edwin, Sam Houston State Univ.

63. The Globalization of the Holocaust
Thursday, Jan. 6, 1:45-3:00 p.m., Platinum Salon F, J. W. Marriott
1. “The Holocaust in Iranian Media: The Hamshahri Cartoon Contest and Zero Degree Turn,” Justin Neuman, Yale Univ.

229. Remembering Madrid’s March 11th: Terrorism, Immigration, and Identity in Contemporary Spain
Friday, Jan. 7, 10:15-11:30 a.m., 304A, LA Convention Center
3. “March 11th and the Graphic Novel,” Kyra A. Kietrys

431. Textual Scholarship and New Media
Saturday, Jan. 8, 8:30-9:45 a.m., Diamond Salon 8, J. W. Marriott
1. “Comic Book Markup Language: An Introduction and Rationale,” John A. Walsh, Indiana Univ., Bloomington

442. Postcolonial Diasporas
Saturday, Jan. 8, 8:30-9:45 a.m., 309, LA Convention Center
1. “South Asian-American Comics and Postcolonial Diasporic Identity,” Uppinder Mehan, Univ. of Houston, Victoria

466. Teaching Asian American Literatures
Saturday, Jan. 8, 10:15-11:30 a.m., Platinum Salon H, J. W. Marriott
1. “Teaching Asian American Graphic Narratives in a ‘Post-Race’ Era,” Caroline Kyungah Hong, Queens Coll., City Univ. of New York

620. Autism/Text
Saturday, Jan. 8, 5:15-6:30 p.m., Atrium I, J. W. Marriott
2. “Reading in Pictures: Re-visioning Autism and Literature through Keiko Tobe’s With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child,” Christofer Craig Foss, Univ. of Mary Washington

756. (Un)Told Stories: Narratives from the Global Sex Trade
Sunday, Jan. 9, 12:oo noon-1:15 p.m., 306A, LA Convention Center
1. “Spectatorship and Abandonment in Mia Kirschner’s I Live Here,” Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg, Babson Coll.; Alexandra W. Schultheis, Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro

Finally, the program includes a roundtable session in which comics will be discussed:

788. Teaching Life Writing Now
Sunday, Jan. 9, 1:45-3:00 p.m., Platinum Salon F, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Division on the Teaching of Literature and the Division on Autobiography, Biography, and Life Writing
Presiding: Leonard Cassuto, Fordham Univ., Lincoln Center

Speakers: David M. Ball, Dickinson Coll.; Sarah J. Heidt, Kenyon Coll.; Susannah B. Mintz, Skidmore Coll.; Elizabeth Stone, Fordham Univ., Lincoln Center; Julia Watson, Ohio State Univ., Columbus

This session will focus on the teaching of life writing, with particular emphasis on the issues raised by life writing today. Heidt will focus on teaching gender and life writing; Watson will address the teaching of memoir in the light of the questionable truth claims that have lately attached to it; Mintz will consider disability and life writing; Stone will focus on immigrant and ethnic life writing; and Ball will discuss the teaching of life writing in the form of the graphic novel.

Truly, this is a windfall in comics studies research at MLA. We’re delighted to contribute to the general upsurge!

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