Other Comics Studies Events @ MLA 2011

In addition to the three panels sponsored by our Discussion Group, there are many other events on the MLA 2011 program relevant to comics studies. Notably, there are two special sessions, that is, independent panels, in the comics field:

175. Narrative Imag(in)ing and the Comics of the Hernandez Brothers
Friday, Jan. 7, 8:30-9:45 a.m., Olympic III, J. W. Marriott
Presiding: Jennifer Glaser, Univ. of Cincinnati

1. “Serialization, Character Dynamics, and Narrative in Gilbert Hernandez’s Love and Rockets,” Christopher Gonzalez, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
2. “Strategizing Popular Genre in the Works of the Hernandez Brothers,” Derek Parker Royal
3. “Emotion, Cognition, and Race in Los Bros Hernandez,” Frederick Luis Aldama, Ohio State Univ., Columbus

Respondent: Charles Hatfield

382. Graphic Novels and Cultural Memory
Friday, Jan. 7, 5:15-6:30 p.m., Diamond Salon 6, J. W. Marriott
Presiding: Astrid Boeger, Hamburg Univ.

1. “Hybrid Narratives, Hybrid Identities: Line Hoven’s Graphic Memoir Liebe schaut weg (2007),” Stefan Hoeppner, Univ. of Freiburg
2. “Beyond Genre: Autobiography, Cultural Memory, and History in Comics,” Lan Dong, Univ. of Illinois, Springfield
3. “Comics as a Counterdiscourse of Cultural Memory,” Dirk Vanderbeke, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitèt

Unfortunately, this second panel, Graphic Novels and Cultural Memory, is scheduled opposite the panel Graphic Aging co-sponsored by our Group and the Discussion Group on Age Studies. Ouch! A regrettable conflict, outside of our Group’s control.

In addition to the above special sessions, comics will be prominently featured in a session linked to this year’s MLA Presidential Forum topic, Lives and Archives: Finding, Framing, and Circulating Narrated Lives Now:

505. Lives and Archives in Graphic and Digital Modes
Saturday, Jan. 8, 12:00 noon-1:15 p.m., Platinum Salon C, J. W. Marriott
Presiding: Julia Watson, Ohio State Univ., Columbus

1. “Comics Form and Narrating Lives,” Hillary Chute
2. “Automedial Ghosts,” Brian Rotman, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
3. “What Is Worth Saving? The Salvage Work of Comics,” Theresa Tensuan, Haverford Coll.

Wait, there’s more! A search of the MLA Convention program reveals several other papers that focus, or appear to focus, on comics 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 these sessions:

13. French Noir: Film, BD (Bande Dessinée), Roman
Thursday, Jan. 6, 12:00 noon-1:15 p.m., 402B, LA Convention Center
2. “Revisiting the French Noir: The Birth of Adele Blanc-Sec,” Anouk Alquier, Smith Coll.

33. Arab Literature and Commitment
Thursday, Jan. 6, 12:00 noon-1:15 p.m., 406B, LA Convention Center
2. “Muslim Women in Naif Al-Mutawa’s Comic Book The 99,” Shirin E. Edwin, Sam Houston State Univ.

63. The Globalization of the Holocaust
Thursday, Jan. 6, 1:45-3:00 p.m., Platinum Salon F, J. W. Marriott
1. “The Holocaust in Iranian Media: The Hamshahri Cartoon Contest and Zero Degree Turn,” Justin Neuman, Yale Univ.

229. Remembering Madrid’s March 11th: Terrorism, Immigration, and Identity in Contemporary Spain
Friday, Jan. 7, 10:15-11:30 a.m., 304A, LA Convention Center
3. “March 11th and the Graphic Novel,” Kyra A. Kietrys

431. Textual Scholarship and New Media
Saturday, Jan. 8, 8:30-9:45 a.m., Diamond Salon 8, J. W. Marriott
1. “Comic Book Markup Language: An Introduction and Rationale,” John A. Walsh, Indiana Univ., Bloomington

442. Postcolonial Diasporas
Saturday, Jan. 8, 8:30-9:45 a.m., 309, LA Convention Center
1. “South Asian-American Comics and Postcolonial Diasporic Identity,” Uppinder Mehan, Univ. of Houston, Victoria

466. Teaching Asian American Literatures
Saturday, Jan. 8, 10:15-11:30 a.m., Platinum Salon H, J. W. Marriott
1. “Teaching Asian American Graphic Narratives in a ‘Post-Race’ Era,” Caroline Kyungah Hong, Queens Coll., City Univ. of New York

620. Autism/Text
Saturday, Jan. 8, 5:15-6:30 p.m., Atrium I, J. W. Marriott
2. “Reading in Pictures: Re-visioning Autism and Literature through Keiko Tobe’s With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child,” Christofer Craig Foss, Univ. of Mary Washington

756. (Un)Told Stories: Narratives from the Global Sex Trade
Sunday, Jan. 9, 12:oo noon-1:15 p.m., 306A, LA Convention Center
1. “Spectatorship and Abandonment in Mia Kirschner’s I Live Here,” Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg, Babson Coll.; Alexandra W. Schultheis, Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro

Finally, the program includes a roundtable session in which comics will be discussed:

788. Teaching Life Writing Now
Sunday, Jan. 9, 1:45-3:00 p.m., Platinum Salon F, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Division on the Teaching of Literature and the Division on Autobiography, Biography, and Life Writing
Presiding: Leonard Cassuto, Fordham Univ., Lincoln Center

Speakers: David M. Ball, Dickinson Coll.; Sarah J. Heidt, Kenyon Coll.; Susannah B. Mintz, Skidmore Coll.; Elizabeth Stone, Fordham Univ., Lincoln Center; Julia Watson, Ohio State Univ., Columbus

This session will focus on the teaching of life writing, with particular emphasis on the issues raised by life writing today. Heidt will focus on teaching gender and life writing; Watson will address the teaching of memoir in the light of the questionable truth claims that have lately attached to it; Mintz will consider disability and life writing; Stone will focus on immigrant and ethnic life writing; and Ball will discuss the teaching of life writing in the form of the graphic novel.

Truly, this is a windfall in comics studies research at MLA. We’re delighted to contribute to the general upsurge!

Discussion Group Launches @ MLA 2011

The Modern Language Association (MLA) Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives will host its first panels ever this coming weekend, Thursday through Sunday, January 6-9, at the MLA’s 126th Annual Convention in Los Angeles.

The Convention (for an overview of which, see here) will take place in downtown LA at the Convention Center and the nearby J. W. Marriott hotel. This year’s Convention boasts an unprecedented level of activity in comics studies, including the following three panels sponsored or co-sponsored by the Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives:

312. Comics and Conflict in the Middle East
Friday, Jan. 7, 1:45-3:00 p.m., Room 407, LA Convention Center
Presiding: Isaac Cates, Univ. of Vermont

1. “Graphic Narratives and the Suffering of Palestinians,” Aryn Bartley, Michigan State Univ.
2. “When We Were Kings: Representing Regime Change in Vaughan and Henrichon’s Pride of Baghdad,” Jonathan Gray
3. “A Female Prophet? Matriarchal Authority in Marjane Satrapi,” Rachel V. Trousdale, Agnes Scott Coll.

552. Drawing Women’s Lives
Saturday, Jan. 8, 1:45-3:00 p.m., Platinum Salon J, J. W. Marriott hotel
Presiding: Hillary Chute, Univ. of Chicago

1. “‘My Independent Jewish Monster Temperament’: The Serial Selves of Aline Kominsky-Crumb,” Tahneer Oksman, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York
2. “The Embedded Looker: Charting Narration in Graphic Memoir,” Robyn R. Warhol, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
3. “Arranging the Narration of Women’s Lives in Marjane Satrapi’s Broderies/Embroideries,” Stacey Weber-Feve, Iowa State Univ.

386. Graphic Aging
Friday, Jan. 7, 5:15-6:30 p.m., 407, LA Convention Center
Co-sponsored by the Discussion Group on Age Studies and the Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives
Presiding: Charles Hatfield, CSU Northridge

1. “‘Old Father, Old Artificer’: Time, Memory, and Aging in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home,” Michelle Ann Abate, Hollins Univ.
2. “Comics and the Problem of the Bildungsroman: Charles Burns’s Black Hole,” Christopher Pizzino, Univ. of Georgia
3. “Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth: Father as Fallen Superhero,” John David Schwetman, Univ. of Minnesota, Duluth

Respondent: Leni Marshall, Univ. of Wisconsin, Menomonie

These are by no means the only papers and panels of potential interest to comics scholars, nor certainly the only things of great interest at the Convention (which offers a wealth of programming, some 821 official events in all). There are also two other comics-themed panels, which are considered special sessions, that is, ones not sponsored by divisions or discussion groups; in addition, there are many other papers of relevance to comics studies. A complete listing of these other events can be found in another post, below.

We’re looking forward to a busy and productive MLA Convention, one that brings comics to the forefront of literary discussion! Hope to see you there.