Join us there!

We of the MLA Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives are proud to announce our sessions for the 128th Annual MLA Convention, to be held 3-6 January 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. See below for our lineup—including our first-ever social event, a cash bar on Saturday evening, January 5!

Besides the sessions we’re sponsoring, there will of course be others in Boston devoted to comics (which we’ll list in a future post). Comics studies within the MLA continues to be a robust, very active area. Do bookmark this blog and check back in over the weeks to come, as the convention draws nearer! We’ll be posting abstracts of all the papers in our sessions by Dec. 15.

Note: Only a limited number of MLA sessions are open to the general public (see the MLA website here). That does not include the sessions below, which are open only to registered participants in the convention. For more information about the convention, including registration costs, see the homepage for MLA 2013.

Birth of a Nation: A Comic Novel, by McGruder, Hudlin & Baker (2005 ed.)

132. Black Studies and Comics

Thursday, 3 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Back Bay D, Sheraton Boston

Presiding: Qiana Joelle Whitted, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia

  1. “(In)Visible Bodies: Rewriting the Politics of Passing in Incognegro, a Graphic Mystery by Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece,” Christophe Dony, Univ. of Liège
  2. “Birth of an Imperium: Tragedy, Comedy, and the Graphic Representation of African American History,” Jonathan W. Gray, John Jay Coll. of Criminal Justice, CUNY
  3. “A Work of Its Time and a Timeless Work: The Spirit, Ebony White, and Will Eisner’s Legacy,” Andrew James Kunka, Univ. of South Carolina, Sumter

Two panels from Joe Sacco's Footnotes in Gaza (2009)

303. Graphic Lives in Wartime

Friday, 4 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., The Fens, Sheraton Boston

Program jointly arranged by the Division on Autobiography, Biography, and Life Writing and the Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives

Presiding: Linda Haverty Rugg, UC Berkeley; Joseph (Rusty) Witek, Stetson Univ.

  1. “Joe Sacco on Joe Sacco,” Julia Watson, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
  2. “Ethical Obligation in the Wartime Graphic Memoir: Theorizing the Face in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis,” Joseph Darda, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs
  3. “Atomic Bomb Manga,” Hillary Chute, Univ. of Chicago
  4. “Views from Nowhere: Journalistic Detachment in Joe Sacco’s Palestine,” Marc Singer, Howard Univ.

MICE (Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo) 2012 poster, by Dan Moynihan

504. New England DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Comics

Saturday, 5 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., The Fens, Sheraton Boston

Presiding: Martha B. Kuhlman, Bryant Univ.

  1. “Minicomics and the Graphic Nonnovel,” Isaac Cates, Univ. of Vermont
  2. “Comics Culture and Community: Providence,” Martha B. Kuhlman
  3. “‘Like Us Be Free and Bold’: Innovation, Rebellion, and Self-Reliance in Boston Minicomics,” Susan E. Kirtley, Portland State Univ.
  4. “The Illegitimate Sons of Superman: DIY Publishing and the Rutland Halloween Parade,” Craig Fischer, Appalachian State Univ.

Okay, so the mixer won't really be like this, but... hey, it's Hogarth!

657. Cash Bar Arranged by the Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives

Saturday, 5 January, 7:00–8:15 p.m., Independence West, Sheraton Boston

Please join us for this informal mixer—and help us chart our future! Members of the Discussion Group’s Executive Committee will be on hand to chat about our programming, our plans, and the further growth of comics studies at the MLA. We invite your input, and hope to connect with all those who are interested in comics scholarship. Not to be missed!

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