The Comics and Graphic Narratives Forum will be sponsoring three panels at MLA 2021, 86. New Flashpoints in Comics History, 396. Comics and Graphic Narratives for Young Audiences, and 636. Decolonizing Comics and/as Activism. Also, check out all the other comics-related panels at MLA 2021.

86 – New Flashpoints in Comics History

Thursday, 7 January 2021, 1:45 PM – 3:00 PM


Participants share work that identifies moments in comics history that have been overlooked. They discuss how American and transnational comics histories have been shaped by cultural conflict and exchange, the comics industry and its discontents, and changing technologies of production.

Presider: Margaret Galvan, U of Florida


  • Rachel Miller, Ohio State U, Columbus
  • Anna Peppard, Brock U
  • Xosé Boan, State U of New York, Oswego
  • Alexander Ponomareff, U of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Debarghya Sanyal, U of Oregon
  • Kay Sohini Kumar, Stony Brook U, State U of New York
  • Daniel W. Worden, Rochester Inst. of Tech.

396 – Comics and Graphic Narratives for Young Audiences

Saturday, 9 January 2021, 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM
Presiders: Philip Nel, Kansas State U & Aaron Kashtan, U of North Carolina, Charlotte


  1. ‘Loving Deeper than Lovers’: Melancholy and Queer Desire in Shojo Manga
    Keiko Miyajima, John Jay C of Criminal Justice, City U of New York
  2. Manga Gave Me Self-Confidence’: Young People in Nepal and Canada Using Manga as a Pedagogical Tool
    Adrian Khan, U of Toronto and Janet Seow, York U, Keele
  3. Snakes and Ladders: Collaboratively Exploring Youth Refugees in an (Ethno)Graphic Novel
    Sarah Walker, Goldsmiths, U of London
  4. Unapologetic Complexity: The Chaotic and the Esoteric in Contemporary Children’s Comics
    Gwen Athene Tarbox, Western Michigan U

636 – Decolonizing Comics and/as Activism

Sunday, 10 January 2021, 1:45 PM – 3:00 PM
Presider: Rachel Kunert-Graf, Antioch U, WA


  1. Singaporean Comics and Decolonial Feeling
    Weihsin Gui, U of California, Riverside
  2. Decolonial Futures and Afrodiasporic Spiritualities in Comics of the Circum-Caribbean
    Paul Humphrey, Colgate U
  3. El viaje más caro: Collaborative Comic-Based Storytelling among Latino/a Farmworkers
    Kaitlin Thomas, Norwich U
  4. Wangari Maathai: A Comic as a ‘World’ Ecological Medium?
    Crystal Lynn Bartolovich, Syracuse U