In addition to the three sessions sponsored by our Discussion Group (i.e. the Comics and Graphic Narratives Group), MLA 2012 will be hosting many other events relevant to comics studies. In fact, the program shows that the MLA’s interest in comics and graphic narratives is at an all-time high. The amount of work being done on comics within the MLA now is startling to those who remember leaner, hungrier times—it’s a veritable groundswell!
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to search for the subjects comics or graphic narratives in the MLA’s searchable online program. So, to spread the word about this groundswell, we of the Comics and Graphic Narratives Group offer the following list of comics studies events at MLA 2012 other than our own.
The following panels are either clearly dedicated to or show a substantial interest (i.e., more than one paper’s worth) in graphic narrative. Some of them are “special,” i.e. independent, ad hoc, sessions, while others are sponsored by standing MLA Divisions or Discussion Groups. Of course there are some schedule conflicts among them (sigh):
95. The Graphic Novel in Latin America
Thursday, 5 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., University Room, Sheraton Seattle
Program arranged by the Division on Twentieth-Century Latin American Literature
Presiding: Hilda Chacón, Nazareth College of Rochester
- “Criminal Melodrama and Hypertrophic Gesture in ¡Alarma! and ¡Casos de Alarma!,” Sergio Delgado, Harvard U.
- “La grabadora: En busca de una historia alternativa,” Javier Gonzalez, U. of Colorado, Boulder
- “Rupay, the Photojournalistic Archive, and the Sendero War,” Kent L. Dickson, California State Polytechnic U., Pomona
181. Graphic Narratives Retelling History: Germany
Friday, 6 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., University Room, Sheraton Seattle
Program arranged by the Division on Slavic and East European Literatures and the Division on European Literary Relations
Presiding: Ema Vyroubalova, Trinity Coll., Dublin
- “Sequential Berlin: Jason Lutes’s City of Stones Series,” Ksenia Sidorenko, Yale U.
- “Retelling History in the Borderlands: Jaroslav Rudiš’s Alois Nebel and Bomber by Jaromír 99,” Martha B. Kuhlman, Bryant U.
- “Retelling German History with the Graphic Novel,” Elizabeth Nijdam, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor
For abstracts, visit mlaslavicdivision2012.blogspot.com.
183. Deep Drawings: Sociopolitical Themes in Anime and Manga
Friday, 6 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Virginia Room, Sheraton Seattle
A special session
Presiding: Joshua Paul Dale, Tokyo Gakugei U.
- “Alternative Manga Magazines in Postwar Japanese Comics: Garo and COM,” CJ Suzuki, Baruch Coll., CUNY
- “Subversive Cute: The Other Serious Anime and Manga,” Kerin Ogg, Wayne State U.
- “Current-Affairs Comics in a Global Context: The Comic Heart of Darkness,” Marie Thorsten, Doshisha U.
Respondent: Joshua Paul Dale
316. Asian Americans and Graphic Narrative
Friday, 6 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Room 303, Washington State Convention Center
Program arranged by the Division on Asian American Literature
Presiding: Timothy Yu, U. of Wisconsin, Madison
Speakers: Rachelle Cruz, UC Riverside; Lan Dong, U. of Illinois, Springfield; Tomo Hattori, CSU Northridge; Caroline Kyungah Hong, Queens Coll., CUNY; Hye Su Park, Ohio State U., Columbus; Gene Luen Yang, San Jose, CA
Gene Luen Yang, author of American Born Chinese, will be the featured speaker in this discussion of Asian American graphic narrative. Graphic novels and memoirs form an increasingly important part of the Asian American literary canon, offering new insights into issues of stereotyping, autobiography, and historical memory. GB Tran’s Vietnamerica, Adrian Tomine’s Shortcomings, and Lynda Barry’s One Hundred Demons will be among the works discussed.
409. Visual and Graphic Representations by Hispanic/Luso/Latina Female Writers and Artists
Saturday, 7 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Redwood Room, Sheraton Seattle
Program arranged by Feministas Unidas
Presiding: Magdalena M. Maiz-Peña, Davidson Coll.
- “Representación visual y corporal de la memoria y postmemoria en Bordado en la piel de la memoria de Mirta Kupferminc,” Daniela Goldfine, U. of Minnesota, Twin Cities
- “La transfiguración femenina: Del animal cínico al terrorismo gótico de la abyección. El comic serial de Cecila Pego y Caro Chinaski,” Carina González, U. of Florida
- “Bodies at the Crossroads: Latinas’ Latina Graphic Narratives,” Margaret Galvan, Graduate Center, CUNY
- “Mutation and Visibility: The Representation of a Female Body in Dominican Visual Art,” Elena Valdez, Rutgers U., New Brunswick
For abstracts, visit feministas-unidas.org.
486. Visual Culture
Saturday, 7 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Redwood Room, Sheraton Seattle
Program arranged by the Women’s Caucus for the Modern Languages
Presiding: Inmaculada Pertusa, Western Kentucky Univ.
- “From Writing to Painting: Caterina Albert and Mercè Rodoreda,” Kathleen McNerney, West Virginia U., Morgantown
- “Alissa Torres’s Graphic Tale of Grief: American Widow; or, My Husband Bleeds History,” Janis Breckenridge, Whitman Coll.
- “The Anxiety of Density in Graphic Novels: Solutions Based on Genderic Conventions and Creative Collaborations,” Maria Elsy Cardona, Saint Louis U.
- “Helen Zouk’s ‘Desapariciones’: Shooting Death,” David William Foster, Arizona State U.
570. Ethnographic Encounters: Jewish American and Italian American Graphic Narratives
Saturday, 7 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Room 307, Washington State Convention Center
Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Italian American Literature and the Discussion Group on Jewish American Literature
Presiding: JoAnne Ruvoli, UCLA
- “From Caricature to Complexity: Drawing the Relationship between Italians and Jews in America,” Jennifer Glaser, U. of Cincinnati
- “America Makes Strange Jews: Jewish Identity and Pulp Masculinity in Howard Chaykin’s Dominic Fortune,” Brannon Costello, Louisiana State U., Baton Rouge
- “Shades of Old World and New: Ethnic Engagements in Nonsuperhero Italian American Comics,” Derek Parker Royal, U. of Nebraska, Kearney
For abstracts, visit www.aihaweb.org/italianamericanliterature.htm after 24 Dec. 2011.
630. Comics, Bande Dessinée, Manga: For a Comparative Approach to the Study of Comics
Sunday, 8 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Room 310, Washington State Convention Center
A special session
Presiding: Catherine Labio, U. of Colorado, Boulder
- “‘Aint I de Maine Guy in Dis Parade?’: Sympathetic Immigrant Narratives and the Transnational Worker in Early American Comic Strips,” Michael T. R. Demson, Sam Houston State U.
- “Academic Fandom and the Other-ed Side in American Comic Book Studies,” Shawna Kidman, USC
- “Masochistic Contracts, Bishōnen, and the Rejection of Futurity: How to Read Manga like a Victorian Woman,” Anna Maria Jones, U. of Central Florida
699. Graphic Narratives Retelling History: Serbia and Bosnia
Sunday, 8 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Virginia Room, Sheraton Seattle
Program arranged by the Division on Slavic and East European Literatures
Presiding: Rossen Djagalov, Yale U.
- “The Nova Dobo Festival of Nonaligned Comics in Belgrade,” Lisa Mangum, Independent Publishing Resource Center
- “How We Survived War, Sanctions, and NATO Bombing, and Then Laughed: Regards from Serbia by Alexandar Zograf,” Damjana Mraovic-O’Hare, Penn State U., University Park
- “Back into Bosnian: Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Goražde Returns Home from War,” Jessie M. Labov, Ohio State U., Columbus
Respondent: Martha B. Kuhlman, Bryant Univ.
For abstracts, visit http://mlaslavicdivision2012.blogspot.com.
734. Self-Narrating Lives: Genre-Bending Autobiographical Works
Sunday, 8 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Room 611, Washington State Convention Center
A special session
Presiding: Johanna Drucker, UCLA
Speakers: Maria Faini, UC Berkeley; Anna Gibbs, U. of Western Sydney; William Kuskin, U. of Colorado, Boulder; Vanessa Place, Les Figues Press; Christine Wertheim, California Institute of the Arts
This session explores the complexities of self-narration across media and formats with particular emphasis on those that blur genre lines. Autobiographical artists’ books, graphic novels are often highly self-reflexive, and their metacharacter as books about books, or subversions of norms, makes them sites of citation and parody in which formal mimicry and content play with readers’ expectations.
Wait, there’s more: Besides the above panels, search of the MLA program turns up other individual papers that may focus on comics, graphic narrative, 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 those sessions:
50. Writing Lives, Living Lives in French: Camille Delaville, Nathalie Sarraute, and Marjane Satrapi
Thursday, 5 January, 1:45-3:00 p.m., Columbia Room, Sheraton Seattle
3. “Exile and Ethics: (En)Gendering Cosmopolitan Conversation in Marjane Satrapi’s Broderies,” S. Olivia Donaldson, U. of Wisconsin, Madison
139. Peripheral Conversations: South-South Dialogues
Thursday, 5 January, 7:00–8:15 p.m., Room 307, Washington State Convention Center
1. “The Revolution Will Be Cartooned! African Political Cartoonists and the North African Uprising,” Tejumola Olaniyan, U. of Wisconsin, Madison
342. Asynchronous Empire
Friday, 6 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Room 306, Washington State Convention Center
3. “The Time of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Empire, Masculinity, and the Afterlife of Late-Victorian Adventure Fiction,” Ryan Fong, UC Davis
Saturday, 7 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Room 304, Washington State Convention Center
3. “Graphic Transformations: Ethno-racial Identity and Discovery in Two Comics of Childhood,” Tahneer Oksman, Graduate Center, CUNY
473. Performing Identity in Late Life
Saturday, 7 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Virginia Room, Sheraton Seattle
2. “Melancholic Morphing: Aging Male Protagonists in Recent American Graphic Novels,” Adrielle Anna Mitchell, Nazareth Coll. of Rochester
(We note that our esteemed colleague, Leni Marshall of the U. of Wisconsin, Menomonie, is presiding over this session on behalf of the Discussion Group on Age Studies, with whom we collaborated last year!)
692. Human Rights Modes: Testimony
Sunday, 8 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Room 306, Washington State Convention Center
1. “Witness/Testimony: Graphic Narrative as Témoignage in the Humanitarian Work of Médecins sans Frontières,” Alexandra W. Schultheis, U. of North Carolina, Greensboro
NOTE: If you are presenting a comics-related paper or event at MLA 2012 and we have failed to list you here, please leave a comment on this blog so that we can correct the oversight. Likewise, everyone listed here, please help us keep this list accurate and up-to-date!