Besides the four events—the three panels and the cash bar—sponsored or co-sponsored by our Discussion Group, MLA 2014 in Chicago will host two other sessions devoted comics or graphic narratives, as well as a number of individual papers that, as far as we are able to tell from the program, connect to the comics studies field. While the amount of comics-themed programming this time around does not appear to match the record high set in 2012, work on comics remains an important part of the MLA—and of course our Group is doing all it can to encourage that trend!
Unfortunately, the MLA’s searchable online program does not include the search term comics or graphic narratives in its drop-down menus, and, while it is possible to type those words, or any words, into the search box, not every panel or paper related to comics studies is necessarily labeled as such. We’ve found the search results to be, er, inexact. Hence skimming through the entire program remains the surest way to find all the comics-themed events at the convention. We’ve done that—and, as part of our continual effort to spread the word about comics studies at MLA, we offer the following information.
First, here are the other two comics studies panels at the convention:
563. Postcolonial Graphic Memoirs
Saturday, 11 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Erie, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Division on Autobiography, Biography, and Life Writing
Presiding: Linda Haverty Rugg, Univ. of California, Berkeley
- “Malamine, un africain à Paris: A Closer Look at Contemporary Postcolonial Unbelonging,” Michelle Bumatay, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
- “Self-Construction of a Transnational Feminine Identity in an Andean Context: Power Paola’s Virus Tropical,” Felipe Gómez, Carnegie Mellon Univ.
- “Drawing Memories, Visualizing Texts: Transnational Belonging in GB Tran’s Vietnamerica,” Lan Dong, Univ. of Illinois, Springfield
- “Illustrating Alternate Narratives: Unconsumable Racialized Bodies of Young Women in Half World and Skim,” Michelle O’Brien, Univ. of British Columbia
773. The Graphic Nineteenth Century
Sunday, 12 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Michigan–Michigan State, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the Division on Nineteenth-Century American Literature
Presiding: Augusta Rohrbach, Washington State Univ., Pullman
- “A Slave Is Being Beaten: Word, Image, and the Subject of The Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb,” Laura Ruth Saltz, Colby Coll.
- “Geography and Tactile Graphics for the Blind,” David Weimer, Harvard Univ.
- “‘The Girl Who Inked Herself’: The Graphic Design of Female Literacy in Picture-Book Form,” Elizabeth Pope, American Antiquarian Soc.
Secondly, following is a list of panels that include individual papers related (or potentially related) to comics studies. These are papers that appear to focus on cartooning, comics, or graphic narratives, or material adapted from same, but that occur in the context of sessions organized around other topics. We’ve listed the entire panels here, with the possibly comics-related papers printed in red.
We hope we haven’t missed any comics-related sessions or papers. If you think we have (or if we’ve misrepresented your work), please drop us a comment here so that we can correct our mistake. Thanks! We hope these lists prove helpful as you plan out your MLA experience.
36. Women and the Language and Literature of Human Rights
Thursday, 9 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Kane, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the Division on Women’s Studies in Language and Literature
Presiding: Susan G. O’Malley, Kingsborough Community Coll., City Univ. of New York
- “‘I Write the Broken Line’: Discursive Truth Telling in Antjie Krog’s Country of My Skull,” Alaina Kaus, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs
- “Speaking Freedom’s Language:Multicultural Literature and Human Rights Talk in an Emerging Democracy,” Amy K. Levin, Northern Illinois Univ.
- “Beyond Revolution: The Fiction of Individual Sovereignty in Persepolis,” Belinda Walzer, Wake Forest Univ.
84. Latino/a Chicago
Thursday, 9 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Missouri, Sheraton Chicago
A special session
Presiding: Alberto Varon, Indiana Univ., Bloomington
- “Amor y Chisme: Melodramatic Mexican Chicago in Porque el amor manda and Sandra Cisneros’s Caramelo,” Olga Herrera, Univ. of Saint Thomas, MN
- “The Untold Midwestern Puerto Rican Story in Fred Arroyo’s Western Avenue and Other Fictions,” Marisel C. Moreno, Univ. of Notre Dame
- “Brown and Down in Hyde Park: Wilfred Santiago’s In My Darkest Hour,” William Orchard, Queens Coll., City Univ. of New York
173. Beyond the Protomonograph: New Models for the Dissertation
Thursday, 9 January, 7:00–8:15 p.m., Northwestern–Ohio State, Chicago Marriott
A special session
Presiding: Daniel Powell, Univ. of Victoria
Speakers: Melissa A. Dalgleish, York Univ.; Shawn Moore, Texas A&M Univ., College Station; James O’Sullivan, University Coll. Cork; Nick Sousanis, Columbia Univ.; Danielle Spinosa, York Univ.; Nicholas van Orden, Univ. of Alberta
Although the need for graduate education reform in the humanities is widely discussed, the traditional role of the dissertation as a capstone protomonograph has only begun to be questioned. This panel features six Pecha Kucha presentations (20 slides x 20 seconds) from graduate students developing radically new models of the dissertation, followed by ample discussion.
(Note: Speaker Nick Sousanis is currently writing and drawing his dissertation in comic book form.)
248. Space and Belonging in Post-9/11 US American Literature
Friday, 10 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Purdue-Wisconsin, Chicago Marriott
A special session
Presiding: Karolina Golimowska, Univ. of Richmond; David Rose, Humboldt-Universität
- “Writer for Mayor: Jonathan Lethem, Norman Mailer, and Post-9/11 New York,” Jeffrey Severs, Univ. of British Columbia
- “Smoking on the Streets of New York: Art Spiegelman as ‘Rooted Cosmopolitan’ in the Shadow of September 11,” Jeffrey Clapp, Univ. of California, Irvine
- “Meditations on Terror: Mahvish Rukhsana Khan’s My Guantanamo Diary,” Manori Neelika Jayawardane, State Univ. of New York, Oswego
291. Torture and Popular Culture
Friday, 10 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Indiana-Iowa, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the Division on Popular Culture [Note that our Group’s Hillary Chute is presiding, and our frequent MLA colleague Chris Pizzino is presenting! Sure to be a great, challenging panel.]
Presiding: Hillary L. Chute, Univ. of Chicago
- “Shocking Media: The Abu Ghraib Photographs and Zero Dark Thirty,” Liz Maynes-Aminzade, Harvard Univ.
- “Animal Cruelty: The Cinema of Kathryn Bigelow,” Christopher Pizzino, Univ. of Georgia
- “Torture, Rebirth, and Revelation in V for Vendetta and Save the Green Planet,” Peter Yoonsuk Paik, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
- “Sites of Pain: The Expressive Work of Spaces of Torture in Video Games,” Mark Sample, George Mason Univ.
302. Reimagining Nation in the Wake of Disaster
Friday, 10 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Arkansas, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Division on East Asian Languages and Literatures after 1900
Presiding: Melek Ortabasi, Simon Fraser Univ., Surrey
- “Other Sides of Indonesia’s Mud Volcano: Victims, Disaster, and the Politics of Representation,” Phillip Drake, Univ. of Chicago
- “Nausicaa’s Insect Flute: Calling Out Azuma,” Margherita R. Long, Univ. of California, Riverside
- “Volcanic Eruption and Peninsular Politics: Representations of Mount Baekdu in Contemporary South Korea,” Adrian Thieret, Stanford Univ.
- “From Cosmic Fear to New Media Citizenship: The Making of National Space in Chinese Disaster Film,” Wei Yang, Univ. of the South, Sewanee
317. Narrative and Language Theory
Friday, 10 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Michigan B, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Division on Language Theory
Presiding: Lee B. Abraham, Columbia Univ.
- “The Use of the Demonstratives This/These and That/Those in Conversational English Narratives,” Paul J. Hopper, Carnegie Mellon Univ.
- “Framing Narrative Genres: From Words to Worldview,” Michael Sinding, Vrije Univ.
- “A Systemic-Functional Approach to Genre in Short-Form Graphic Narratives,” Jonathan R. Bass, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick
Responding: Jiyoung Yoon, Univ. of North Texas
343. A Right to Gun Violence: Armed Citizens and Criminal Others in American Popular Narrative
Friday, 10 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Huron, Chicago Marriott
A special session
Presiding: Louis Sherman, Univ. of Utah
- “Little House and the Long Rifle: Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Anxiety of Armed Independence,” Louis Sherman
- “Black Power and the Right to Bear Arms,” Mai-Linh Hong, Univ. of Virginia
- “‘We Have a Hulk’: The Superhuman as Substitute for Guns in Superhero Cinema,” Andrew Friedenthal, Univ. of Texas, Austin
Responding: Alan Nadel, Univ. of Kentucky
437. Diaries of the Young Girl: The Craft of Female Selfhood
Saturday, 11 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Indiana-Iowa, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the Division on Children’s Literature
Presiding: June S. Cummins, San Diego State Univ.; Rocío G. Davis, City Univ. of Hong Kong
- “Writing to Survive: Child-Writing Characterization in Sade Adeniran’s Imagine This,” Suzanne Ondrus, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs
- “Constructing the Self: Pocket Diaries as Discipline in Nineteenth-Century America,” Martha L. Sledge, Marymount Manhattan Coll.
- “‘Okay! Fine! You Can Read It!’: Memory, Adolescence, and Belonging in Lauren Weinstein’s Girl Stories,” Tahneer Oksman, Marymount Manhattan Coll.
- “Witness, Re-vision, and the Constraints of Child Authorship in Nadja Halilbegovic’s My Childhood under Fire: A Sarajevo Diary,” Anastasia Ulanowicz, Univ. of Florida
463. New Arabic Genres
Saturday, 11 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Colorado, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Division on Arabic Literature and Culture
Presiding: Ken Seigneurie, Simon Fraser Univ., Surrey
- “Revolutionary Memoirs: Women, Nation, and the Arab World,” Tahia Abdel Nasser, American Univ. in Cairo
- “Scheherazadean Cyborgs: Arab Women Diarists in the Digital Age,” Nadine Sinno, Georgia State Univ.
- “Desire and the Canonization of Arabic Literature,” Kifah Hanna, Trinity Coll., CT
- “Illustrated War: Lamia Ziadé’s Bye Bye Babylon, the Art of Remembering, and the Lebanese Civil War,” Salah D. Hassan, Michigan State Univ.
For abstracts, visit tinyurl.com/c65bllb.
519. Thinking Fanlation
Saturday, 11 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Michigan B, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Translation and the Division on East Asian Languages and Literatures after 1900
Presiding: Sergio Waisman, George Washington Univ.
- “Scanlators like Us: Reading Community Ethics from Scanlated Manga,” Ayse Gursoy, Univ. of Texas, Austin
- “The Manipulation of Translator Involvement in Fansubbing,” Chia-hui Liao, National Formosa Univ.
- “The Brief Wild Days of Anime Fansubbing,” Samuel Malissa, Yale Univ.
540. Cross-Cultural Dialogues
Saturday, 11 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Superior A, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Division on Comparative Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature.
Presiding: Olakunle George, Brown Univ.
- “Odd Jobs: Malinky Robot and Malay Precarity in Singapore,” Aimee Bahng, Dartmouth Coll.
- “Letters from the Dead: Incendies and the Legacies of the Lebanese Civil War,” Salah D. Hassan, Michigan State Univ.
- “Transnational Capital, Branding, and Migrating Genres in New South African Urban Fiction,” Loren Kruger, Univ. of Chicago
- “Relationality: What Is It About?” Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan, Univ. of California, Irvine
572. Illness and Disability Memoir as Embodied Knowledge
Saturday, 11 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Los Angeles–Miami, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the MLA Committee on Disability Issues in the Profession
Presiding: Rachel Adams, Columbia Univ.
- “Recoding Silence: Teresa de Cartagena, Medieval Sign Lexicons, and Deaf Life Writing,” Jonathan H. Hsy, George Washington Univ.
- “‘Twisted and Deformed’: Virginia Woolf, Alison Bechdel, and Crip-Feminist Autobiography,” Cynthia Barounis, Washington Univ. in St. Louis
- “‘My Worry Now Accumulates’: Sensorial and Emotional Contagion in Autistic Life Writing,” Ralph James Savarese, Grinnell Coll.
For papers or abstracts, write to email@example.com after 1 Jan.
625. Verbal and Visual Satire in the Nineteenth Century
Saturday, 11 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Chicago F, Chicago Marriott
A special session
Presiding: Joseph Litvak, Tufts Univ.
- “Organizing Anarchy: Class, Intellectual Property, and Graphic Satire,” Jason Kolkey, Loyola Univ., Chicago
- “The Reemergence of Radical Satire in the Late Nineteenth Century,” Frank A. Palmeri, Univ. of Miami
- “Turn-of-the-Century Satirical Plots of Fenian and Anarchist Terrorism,” Jennifer Malia, American Univ. of Sharjah
636. Kafka’s Experiments with Alternative Realities
Saturday, 11 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Sheraton I, Sheraton Chicago
A special session
Presiding: Marie Luise Caputo-Mayr, Temple Univ., Philadelphia
Speakers: Sandra Fluhrer, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich; Lynn M. Kutch, Kutztown Univ.; Matthew T. Lau, Queensborough Community Coll., City Univ. of New York; Imke Meyer, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago; Lara Pehar, Univ. of Toronto; Alfred Thomas, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago
Responding: Dagmar C. G. Lorenz, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago
For abstracts, visit www.kafkasocietyofamerica.org.
Kafka’s works as historical documents, pointing to contemporary issues, replete with allusions to them, offering “alternative realities” at the intersection of the human-animal (dogs, horses, mice) and human-object world (Odradek) and other transient moments (alienating “imaginary” America, Russia). Utopia, the obscure language, the comic; novel and educational theories; Bohemia.
(Note: Speaker Lynn Kutch will be talking about comics adaptations of Kafka’s Die Verwandlung [The Metamorphosis] and the larger issue of adaptation in the study of literary graphic novels.)
720. Gendered Age and Authority in Popular Culture
Sunday, 12 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Erie, Sheraton Chicago
A special session
Presiding: Elizabeth L. Gregory, Univ. of Houston, University Park
- “Public Activism and Girlhood Agency: Malala Yousafzai in United States Media Coverage and Graphic Narrative,” Tracy Lemaster, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
- “When the Daughters of the Republic Became Terrorists: Kemalist Women in Turkish Popular Media,” Rustem Ertug Altinay, New York Univ.
- “Why Is the Future So Young? Gender and Age in Elizabeth Moon’s Remnant Population,” Christy Tidwell, South Dakota School of Mines and Tech.
For abstracts, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
746. War Media and the Militarization of Experience
Sunday, 12 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Ontario, Sheraton Chicago
A special session
Presiding: Ross Etherton, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder
- “The Killing Tele-presence: Realizing Targets in Drone Warfare,” Jan Claas van Treeck, Yale Univ.
- “Drone Art: Disturbances and Disorientations,” Jennifer Rhee, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.
- “Frames, Firearms, and Funny Pages: Graphic Engagements with Precarious Life,” Katherine Kelp-Stebbins, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara
Responding: Jan Mieszkowski, Reed Coll.
For session description, abstracts, and biographies, visit warmediamla.blogspot.com/.