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 postingRead More →

This weekend, May 18-20, thanks to the tireless work of our own Hillary Chute, the University of Chicago‘s newly established Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry is hosting: Comics: Philosophy & Practice—a symposium that brings together what is certainly the most distinguished roster of comic artists ever assembled for an academic event: Lynda Barry, Alison Bechdel, Ivan Brunetti, Charles Burns, Dan Clowes, R. Crumb, Phoebe Gloeckner, Justin Green, Ben Katchor, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Françoise Mouly, Gary Panter, Joe Sacco, Seth, Art Spiegelman, Carol Tyler, and Chris Ware. Wow! These artists will be doing talks and workshops, interviews and panels, throughout the weekend. It all starts tonight,Read More →

The MLA Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives plans to propose three panels for MLA 2013, to be held in Boston on 3-6 January: Black Studies and Comics New England DIY Comics Graphic Lives in Wartime (co-sponsored with the MLA Division on Autobiography, Biography, and Life Writing) The Call for Papers (CFP) for these panels has closed. The Group has gathered in abstracts for all three topics, and is now in the process of reviewing the abstracts, designing the panels, and submitting final proposals to the MLA Program Committee. We expect to confirm our slate of MLA 2013 programming sometime in June—please watch thisRead More →

The MLA Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives has extended the deadline for its proposed MLA 2013 session, Black Studies and Comics, to 16 March 2012. We encourage all interested scholars to submit a proposal! … BLACK STUDIES AND COMICS Call for Papers for a proposed panel at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention, 3-6 Jan. 2013, in Boston. Sponsored by the MLA Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives. Submission deadline: 16 March 2012. This proposed panel seeks to explore how the methods of Black Studies may inform comic studies, and vice versa. We hope collaboration between these fields will yield greaterRead More →

The MLA Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives sponsored three successful panels for the MLA 2012 conference in Seattle, 5-8 Jan. 2012. Make that very successful panels: all three were well attended, lively, stimulating, and innovative. Sadly, we were able to get photos of just one, the last, “Why Comics Are and Are Not Picture Books,” which took place on Saturday evening, 7 January. See the images below! This panel was packed, with a SRO crowd, and prompted an excellent discussion, thanks to the provocative work of panelists Perry Nodelman, Phil Nel, Michael Joseph, and Joseph Thomas. The panel was co-sponsored by the ComicsRead More →

Call for Papers for a proposed panel at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention, 3-6 Jan. 2013, in Boston. Jointly sponsored by the MLA Division on Autobiography, Biography, and Life Writing and the MLA Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives. … Comics and warfare are longtime companions. Organized mass violence underlies some of the most famous and enduring works in the form: the Crusades of Prince Valiant, the imperialist campaigns of Norakuro, the anti-imperialist clashes of Asterix, the global conflicts of Steve Canyon and Sgt. Rock, the wartime misadventures of noncombatants like Bécassine, and so many others. The concept of the superhero andRead More →

Call for Papers for a proposed panel at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention, 3-6 Jan. 2013, in Boston. Sponsored by the MLA Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives. … Even as literary culture makes way for e-Readers and iPads, an opposing DIY trend champions the tactile, material qualities of printed books, flouting conventional economic wisdom and celebrating the haptic potential of reading. Indeed one effect of the digital revolution has been to highlight the virtues of pre-digital reading, turning attention to the book as art object and artifact. One expression of this phenomenon is the interest in handmade or limited-edition readable objects,Read More →

Call for Papers for a proposed panel at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention, 3-6 Jan. 2013, in Boston. Sponsored by the MLA Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives. … Since representation is at the heart of graphic narrative in all its forms—including comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, webcomics, and panel cartoons—analyzing comics should be of central importance to scholars of race. To take but a single example, one of the pioneers of the newspaper strip, George Herriman, was a Black Southerner whose work offers subtle and complex commentary on race and color. Herriman—like Homer Plessy a mulatto from New Orleans—produced KrazyRead More →

This morning Seattle’s NPR affiliate station, KUOW (Puget Sound Public Radio), ran a segment on its weekly morning show, Weekday, inspired by our panel, How Seattle Changed Comics. Listen to Weekday to hear scholars Susan Kirtley and Christopher Pizzino discuss comics in and of Seattle with host Steve Scher: http://www.kuow.org/program.php?id=25547 Congratulations, Susan and Chris, for this terrific interview! (The comics segment begins at about 33:40 in the podcast.) We’re all at the MLA now, and getting ready for our panels. Onward!Read More →

Welcome to our newest Executive Committee member, Martha Kuhlman. Martha was elected to the Committee this fall, and her election was confirmed by the MLA in December, just in time for our work in Seattle. Welcome aboard, Martha! Martha is an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Bryant University, a prolific comics scholar, and co-editor (with Dave Ball) of The Comics of Chris Ware: Drawing is a Way of Thinking. Her full bio can be found here. Martha’s term on the Executive Committee will be from 2012 to 2017. We are proud to welcome her to our ranks, and look forward to working with her inRead More →