Our two Forum panels this year (and our cash bar!) and some other panels to note:

Saturday, 7 January

581. Alien Lines: Science Fiction Comics

1:45–3:00 p.m., Grand Ballroom Salon A, Philadelphia Marriott

Program arranged by the forums GS Comics and Graphic Narratives and GS Speculative Fiction

Presiding: Aaron Kashtan, Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte

1. “Don’t Let Them Touch and Despair You: World Construction in the World of The Wrenchies and It Will All Hurt,” Phoebe Salzman-Cohen, Penn State Univ., University Park

2. “‘This Is How an Idea Becomes Real’: Bodies in Saga,” Daniel John Pinti, Niagara Univ.

3. “‘I’m Getting Too Good to Ignore’: The Feminist Politics of Sharon Ruhdal’s Dystopian Comics,” Margaret Galvan, New York Univ.

4. “Feeling The Puma Blues: The Dilution of Science Fiction and the Decline of the Creator within Independent Comics’ Golden Age,” Keith McCleary, UC San Diego.

 

Saturday, 7 January

676. Cash Bar Arranged by the Forum GS Comics and Graphic Narratives

7:00–8:15 p.m., Franklin 4, Philadelphia Marriott

 

Sunday, 8 January

787. Graphic Narrative, Comics, and Temporality

1:45–3:00 p.m., Independence Ballroom Salon III, Philadelphia Marriott

Program arranged by the forum GS Comics and Graphic Narratives

Presiding: Martha B. Kuhlman, Bryant Univ.

1. “Past and Present Colors: Drawing Style as Temporal Framework in Comics,” Rikke Platz Cortsen, Univ. of Texas, Austin

2. “‘Paradise Now’: Messianic Time in the Iranian Graphic Protest Novel,” Charlotta Salmi, Univ. of Birmingham

3. “Drawing the Anthropocene? Intimacy and Antihuman ‘Deep Time,'” Aarnoud Rommens, Univ. of Liege

4. “Reading in the Deep: Time and the Z-Axis in Richard McGuire’s Here and Dan Clowes’s Patience,” Joshua Kopin, Univ. of Texas, Austin

 

Additional comics-related panels of note:

189. Reading and Seeing Modernism and Graphic Narrative: Form, Medium, Aesthetics

Friday, 6 January8:30–9:45 a.m., 111B, Pennsylvania Convention Center

A special session 

Presiding: Andrew Hoberek, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia

Speakers:Olivia Badoi, Fordham Univ.; Sheila Liming, Univ. of North Dakota; Ben Novotny Owen, Ohio State Univ., Columbus; John Paul Riquelme, Boston Univ.; Janine M. Utell, Widener Univ.

Responding: David M. Ball, Dickinson Coll.

 

285. Graphic Queer / Queer Graphics: Seriality and Sexuality in Graphic Form

Friday, 6 January12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Independence Ballroom Salon III, Philadelphia Marriott

Program arranged by the forum TC Sexuality Studies

Presiding: Ramzi Fawaz, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

1. “Serial Sex: Intimacy as Method and the Polaroid’s Queer Aesthetic Legacies,” Ricardo Montez, New School

2. “Mapping Danny the Street: Theorizing Trans-temporality with Doom Patrol,” Kadin Henningsen, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

3. “The Pornographic Aesthetics of Fluidity in Comix,” Yetta Howard, San Diego State Univ.

4. “Desiring Blackness: A Motivated Reading of the Value of Black Panther,” André Carrington, Drexel Univ.

 

646. Placing Gender in the Graphic Novel

Saturday, 7 January5:15–6:30 p.m., Independence Ballroom Salon III, Philadelphia Marriott

Program arranged by the forum TC Women’s and Gender Studies

Presiding: Pamela Brown, Univ. of Connecticut, Stamford

1. “Cuba My Revolution: Una novela gráfica e histórica para mejor cumplir las políticas del mercado,” Mabel Cuesta, Univ. of Houston, University Park

2. “The Latent Image: Biopolitics and Diegetic Levels in Lila Quintero-Weaver’s Graphic Novel Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White, in an Aesthetics and Human Rights Course,” Karina Elizabeth Vázquez, Univ. of Richmond

3. “Transnational Bodies and Gendered Representations in Operación Bolívar, by Edgar Clément, and La perdida, by Jessica Abel,” Tania Pérez-Cano, Univ. of Pittsburgh

 

650. Invisible Made Visible: Comics and Mental Illness

Saturday, 7 January5:15–6:30 p.m., Grand Ballroom Salon I, Philadelphia Marriott

A special session 

Presiding: Jessica Gross, St. Louis Coll. of Pharmacy; Leah Misemer, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

Speakers:Jeanine Ashforth, Univ. of South Florida; Elizabeth J. Donaldson, New York Inst. of Tech., Old Westbury; Keegan Lannon, Dominican Univ.; Claire Latxague, Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier 3

Session Description:

Panelists explore how the visual medium of comics paradoxically explores invisible mental illnesses by depicting internal emotional and mental states. They also consider the historical relation between comics and mental illness and discuss how comics can create communities of people who feel—or are—invisible within society at large.

 

281. “Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound”: Psychoanalysis, Comics, and Architecture

Friday, 6 January12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 112A, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Program arranged by the American Psychoanalytic Association

Presiding: Vera J. Camden, Kent State Univ., Kent

Speakers:Frederik Byrn Køhlert, Univ. of Calgary; Jimenez Lai, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; Nick Sousanis, San Francisco State Univ.; Jon Yoder, Kent State Univ., Kent

Session Description:

Once considered pure pulp, comics now prevail in architecture studios, psychoanalytic institutes, and university classrooms, as well as in myriad public spaces. This session represents architecture, psychoanalysis, educational psychology, and literature to consider the ways that comics “bound” over disciplinary silos to capture buildings, bodies, and minds in lived environments.

 

27. Getting Religion: Children’s Literature as Sacred Text

Thursday, 5 January12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 111B, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Program arranged by the forums GS Children’s and Young Adult Literature and TC Religion and Literature

Presiding: Lisa M. Gordis, Barnard Coll.; Karin E. Westman, Kansas State Univ.

1. “Intertwining Histories: Catechisms and the Emergence of Eighteenth-Century Children’s Literature,” Gabrielle Owen, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln

2. “Christian Science Children’s Fiction, 1900–10,” Anne Stiles, St. Louis Univ.

3. “Nazi Children’s Literature and the Formation of the Holy Reich,” Michael Lackey, Univ. of Minnesota, Morris

4. “Characterizing Religion: The Lives and Afterlives of Stock Religious Characters in Japanese Picturebooks from the 1950s to the Present,” Heather Blair, Indiana Univ., Bloomington

 

210. Graphic Narratives

Friday, 6 January8:30–9:45 a.m., 410, Philadelphia Marriott

Program arranged by the forum LLC Luso-Brazilian

Presiding: Cesar Braga-Pinto, Northwestern Univ.

1. “Superbacana: Songs, Graphic Narratives, and Social Tension in the Late 1960s in Brazil,” Carlos Pires, Universidade de São Paulo

2. “Comics Poetry and Poema/Processo,” Jonathan R. Bass, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick

3. “Brazilian Quadrinistas and the Franco-Belgian Market of Science Fiction and Fantasy Graphic Novels: A Marriage of Convenience,” Henri-Simon Blanc-Hoang, Defense Language Inst.

4. “Graphic Spaces of Rights,” Leila Maria Lehnen, Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque

 

282. “I Die Daily”: Police Brutality, Black Bodies, and the Force of Children’s Literature

Friday, 6 January12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 106B, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Program arranged by the Children’s Literature Association

Presiding: Michelle Hite, Spelman Coll.

1. “Postracial, but Not Postracism: The Romanticization of the Plantation South and the Whitewashing of History in Raina Telgemeier’s Drama,” Michelle Ann Abate, Ohio State Univ., Columbus

2. “The Promise and Challenge of History: Reckoning with Racism in Out of Darkness,” Ashley Pérez, Ohio State Univ., Columbus

3. “Runoff: Young African Americans with Disabilities in Landscapes of Sacrifice,” Elizabeth Anne Wheeler, Univ. of Oregon

4. “Brown Girls Dreaming: Violence, Narrative, and the Politics of the Interior,” Samira Abdur-Rahman, Univ. of Rochester

 

353. What Next? Adventures in Episodic and Serial Form

Friday, 6 January3:30–4:45 p.m., Franklin 11, Philadelphia Marriott

A special session 

Presiding: Katherine Fusco, Univ. of Nevada, Reno

Speakers:Jacquelyn Ardam, Colby Coll.; Katherine FuscoDonal Harris, Univ. of Memphis; Andrew Hoberek, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia; Heather A. Love, Univ. of South Dakota; Carter Neal, Indiana Univ., Bloomington

Responding: David M. Ball, Dickinson Coll.

Session Description:

The presentations query how historical moments give rise to the episodic or serial forms they need (or deserve?). With topics including modernist drama, Dada art exhibitions, children’s films, comic books, and the realist novel, the panelists use a PechaKucha format of automatically advancing slides—an innovative style fitting for a session on series and episodes.

 

475. Graphic Style and Big Data

Saturday, 7 January10:15–11:30 a.m., 104A, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Program arranged by the forum LLC 20th- and 21st-Century American

Presiding: Amy Hungerford, Yale Univ.

1. “Illusions of Progress: Visualization and the Politics of Stylized Time,” Ed Finn, Arizona State Univ.

2. “Excavating the Present: Richard McGuire’s Here and the Wayback Machine,” Alexander Manshel, Stanford Univ.

3. “Chris Ware and R. Crumb: From Data to Disgust,” Rebecca Clark, Univ. of California, Berkeley

4. “The Visual Universalism of Bing Xu’s Book from the Ground,” Lee Konstantinou, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

 

524. The Life of the Child’s Mind: Rethinking Education and Intellect in Literature for Young People

Saturday, 7 January12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 106B, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Program arranged by the Children’s Literature Association

Presiding: David Aitchison, North Central Coll.

1. “Adolescent Fiction as a Boundary Condition: Exploring the Meaning of Reading in a Transitional Genre,” Elisabeth Rose Gruner, Univ. of Richmond

2. “Smart Equals Queer: The Intellectual Child in Sex Is a Funny Word,” Gabrielle Owen, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln

3. “Unbounded Time, Unbounded Intellect: A Teenage ‘Song of Myself’ in John Green’s Paper Towns,” Susan Leary, Univ. of Miami

 

 

Other Panels at MLA 2016 that include presentations on comics

  1. Francophone Media(na)tions

Thursday, 7 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 401, JW Marriott

Program arranged by the forum LLC Francophone

Presiding: Miléna Santoro, George Washington Univ.

  1. “Crossing Trenches in Le cœur des batailles by Jean-David Morvan and Igor Kordey: Textual Analysis of ‘La Marne’ (2007) and ‘Verdun’ (2008),” Anne Cirella-Urrutia, Huston-Tillotson Univ.
  2. “Frontiers, Conquests, and the (Re)Birth of the Nation: The Rise of the Comics Western in France at the End of Empire,” Eliza Bourque Dandridge, Duke Univ.
  3. ” Fast-Forward Massilia: From Claude McKay to Moussu T (e lei Jovents),” Danielle Marx-Scouras, Ohio State Univ., Columbus

 

  1. Graphic Interventions: Visual Cultures of the Arab World

Thursday, 7 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 402, JW Marriott

Program arranged by the forum LLC Arabic

Presiding: Hoda El Shakry, Penn State Univ., University Park

  1. “Doaa El-Adl and Cartoon Artists from Egypt,” Aisha Nasser, Oregon State Univ.
  2. “Women, Art, and Revolution in the Streets of Egypt,” Nevine El Nossery, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
  3. “‘The Walls Are Talking to Me’: Beirut Graffiti and the Reappropriation of Public Space,” Nadine Sinno, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ.

Responding: Ghenwa Hayek, Univ. of Chicago

 

  1. The Counterpublics of Underground Comix

Thursday, 7 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., 10B, ACC

A special session

Presiding: Margaret Galvan, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York; Leah Misemer, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

Speakers: Ian Blechschmidt, Northwestern Univ.; Jonathan W. Gray, John Jay Coll. of Criminal Justice, City Univ. of New York; Aaron Kashtan, Miami Univ., Oxford; Joshua Kopin, Univ. of Texas, Austin; Samantha Meier, independent scholar; Lara Saguisag, Coll. of Staten Island, City Univ. of New York

Session Description:

In the 1970s and 1980s, underground comics provided an opportunity for less dominant groups to form communities by representing alternative kinds of experience. Panelists aim to open up the conversation on underground comics to include the ignored voices, such as those of women, minorities, and LGBT communities in San Francisco and elsewhere in the United States.

 

  1. Print, Materiality, Narrative

Thursday, 7 January, 7:00–8:15 p.m., 4BC, ACC

A special session

Presiding: Jeannine DeLombard, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

  1. “The Politics of Format in Early Black Print Culture,” Joseph Rezek, Boston Univ.
  2. “Personifying Periodicals: Big Magazines and Modernist Form,” Donal Harris, Univ. of Memphis
  3. “‘Something to Hold Onto’: Materiality and the Graphic Novel,” Hillary L. Chute, Univ. of Chicago

 

  1. Developments in Comics Pedagogy

Friday, 8 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., 8A, ACC

A special session

Presiding: Keith McCleary, Univ. of California, San Diego; Derek McGrath, Stony Brook Univ., State Univ. of New York

Speakers: Maria Elsy Cardona, Saint Louis Univ.; Susan E. Kirtley, Portland State Univ.; Elizabeth Mathews Losh, Coll. of William and Mary; Elizabeth Nijdam, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Joe Sutliff Sanders, Kansas State Univ.; Nick Sousanis, Univ. of Calgary

For abstracts and biographies, visit www.dereksmcgrath.wordpress.com.

Session Description:

Participants discuss how they have used comics and graphic novels to design unique courses in composition, language, literature, and new media, offering overlapping perspectives in program creation, multimodal integration, gender and cultural studies, and project-based learning. The session welcomes audience participation to discuss new approaches in teaching comics.

 

  1. Old and New Media in Puerto Rican Literature and Culture

Friday, 8 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., 205, JW Marriott

Program arranged by the forum LLC Puerto Rican

Presiding: Radost Rangelova, Gettysburg Coll.

  1. “Art and Power: The Reemergence of Comics in Puerto Rican Literature,” Elena Valdez, Christopher Newport Univ.
  2. “Constructing a Transnational Etiquette of Female Sexuality,” Martin Ponti, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago
  3. “Necromedia in the Puerto Rican Debt State,” Jason Cortés, Rutgers Univ., Newark
  4. “Un café vespertino: Sediment and Privilege in the Isles of San Juan, Puerto Rico,” Mario Mercado Díaz, Univ. of Texas, Austin

 

  1. New Work in Language Theory

Friday, 8 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 305, JW Marriott

Program arranged by the forum TM Language Theory

Presiding: Thomas F. Shannon, Univ. of California, Berkeley

  1. “Creating and Translating Ideophones in Italian Disney Comics: A Linguistic and Historical Inquiry,” Pier Pischedda, Univ. of Leeds
  2. “An Aspect of Interdigitations: Lexical Blending in Language Contact,” Keumsil Kim Yoon, William Paterson Univ.

 

  1. Fables, Folktales, Games, and Comics: Folklore and Visual Media

Friday, 8 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 407, JW Marriott

Program arranged by the American Folklore Society

  1. “Representing Black Folk: Jeremy Love’s Bayou and African American Folk Culture,” Jonathan W. Gray, John Jay Coll. of Criminal Justice, City Univ. of New York
  2. “Animal Terrorism: Adam Hines and the Crisis of the Animal Fable,” Christopher Pizzino, Univ. of Georgia

Responding: Alexandria Gray, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

 

  1. Dystopia and Race in Contemporary American Literature

Saturday, 9 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., 4A, ACC

Program arranged by the College English Association

Presiding: Francisco Delgado, Stony Brook Univ., State Univ. of New York

  1. “The Direction from Which the People Will Come: Shifting International Borders in Leslie Marmon Silko and Karen Tei Yamashita,” Francisco Delgado
  2. “Sickness and Cities: Octavia Butler, Speculative Fiction, and the Rise of Neoliberalism,” Myka Tucker-Abramson, Univ. of Warwick
  3. “Redrawing Race Relations: The Use of the Graphic Novel to Rewrite American History,” Scott Zukowski, Stony Brook Univ., State Univ. of New York
  4. “Which Faction Are You? The (Dis)Abled Coding of Race in Divergent,” Jennifer Polish, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York

Other Comics Panels at the MLA 2015 (Vancouver)

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Besides the three events—the “Immigration and Comics” panel, the “Comics Theory Roundtable” and the cash bar—sponsored or co-sponsored by our Discussion Group, MLA 2015 in Vancouver will host other sessions devoted to 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.

Please find these sessions listed below.

 

Enjoy!


The Graphic South (session 35)

Thursday, 8 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 114, VCC West 

Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Southern Literature

Presiding: Katherine Renee Henninger, Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge

 

  1. “The Contested Topography of the Reconstructed South: Visual Poetics in the Works of Jedediah Hotchkiss and Nathaniel Southgate Shaler,” Robert Arbour, Indiana Univ., Bloomington
  2. Stuck Rubber Baby and the Intersections of Civil Rights Historical Memory,” Julie Buckner Armstrong, Univ. of South Florida
  3. “How to Draw an Animal in the Sensible South: William Bartram’s Natural History of Compassion,” Thomas Doran, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara
  4. “Graphic (Un)Being: Swamping the Deleuzian Body without Organs in Contemporary Comics (Swamp Thing, Swamp Preacher, and Bayou),” Taylor Hagood, Florida Atlantic Univ.; Daniel Cross Turner, Coastal Carolina Univ.

 

The Comics of Joe Sacco: Journalism in a Visual World
 (session 41)

Thursday, 8 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 202, VCC West

A special session

Presiding: Daniel W. Worden, Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque

 

Speakers: Lan Dong, Univ. of Illinois, Springfield; Ann D’Orazio, Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque; Jared Gardner, Ohio State Univ., Columbus; Maureen Shay, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
Responding: David M. Ball, Princeton Univ.

 

Session Description:
The roundtable brings together established and emerging scholars in comics studies to discuss an acclaimed contemporary comics artist, Joe Sacco. The discussion focuses on Sacco’s significance to both literary and comics studies, as well as the challenges that his “comics journalism” poses to the categories and methods of analysis in comics studies.

 

Nationalism and Historical Memory in Global Graphic Fiction (session 91)

Thursday, 8 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., 9, VCC East

A special session

Presiding: Christopher Brian Conway, Univ. of Texas, Arlington

 

  1. “Life Writing, History, and We Are Still at War,” Jose Alaniz, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
  2. “Nationalistic Anxiety: Remembering Jacques Tardi’s Adèle Blance-Sec,” Nhora Lucia Serrano, Harvard Univ.
  3. Mestizaje and Anticolonialism in the Mexican Western,” Christopher Brian Conway, Univ. of Texas, Arlington

 

Zionism and the Novel (session 201)

Friday, 9 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., 224, VCC West

A special session

Presiding: Russell A. Berman, Stanford Univ.

 

  1. “Bioregions and Nation Building in Daniel Deronda,” Sophie Christman-Lavin, Stony Brook Univ., State Univ. of New York
  2. “Zionism in the Novels of Leon Uris, Philip Roth, and Michael Chabon,” Michael Kotzin, independent scholar
  3. “Zionism and the Graphic Novel: Rutu Modan’s Exit Wounds and the Development of a Genre,” Naomi B. Sokoloff, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

 

Virtual Women: Webcomics (session 654)

Sunday, 11 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., 3, VCC East

A special session

Presiding: Leah Misemer, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

 

  1. “‘Straw Feminists’: Webcomics, Parody, and Intertextuality,” Sarah Sillin, Univ. of Maryland, College Park
  2. Ménage à 3: Gender and Sexual Diversity through Women’s Perspectives,” Nicole Slipp, Queen’s Univ.
  3. “One Click Wonder: How Female Comics Creators Leapt from Private to Public in a Single Bound,” Aimee Valentine, Western Michigan Univ.
Responding: Hillary L. Chute, Univ. of Chicago

 

MLA 2014—The Graphic Nineteenth Century

The MLA Annual Convention for 2014 takes place in Chicago next week, from Jan. 9th to 12th! We of the Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives are pleased to help promote, in addition to our own programming, the following session organized and put on by our colleagues in the Division on Nineteenth-Century American Literature:

773. The Graphic Nineteenth Century

Sunday, 12 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m.

Michigan–Michigan State, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Augusta Rohrbach, Washington State Univ., Pullman

“The Graphic 19th Century” reframes the print explosion of the era as a revolution in graphic narratives, treating the relationship between word and image as a distinct innovation of the period marked by The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck (1842), the first graphic novel published in the United States, and graphic work popularized in periodicals from Harper’s Weekly to Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. This panel revises critical commonplaces that link the explosion of print media with the impact of the photographic image; rather, panelists will interrogate the dialogic relationship between word and image, finding a myriad of results beyond what Isabelle Lehuu (2000) aptly called “the carnival on the page.” Papers in this session seek to redefine the field through a coordinated focus on the interaction of form and formats. Each paper focuses on a different generic form out of which both word and image emerge. Together the papers demonstrate combinations of word and image beyond the range of possibilities typically taken up in earlier studies of the period; in addition,they offer new considerations of 19th-century print culture as extending across race, gender and age, and ability.

1. “A Slave Is Being Beaten: Word, Image, and the Subject of The Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb

Laura Ruth Saltz, Colby Coll.

This paper focuses on the prefabricated woodcuts featured in the nonfiction narrative The Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb (1849), exploring the tension between the text’s first-person narrative—known within the tradition of the slave narrative for its radical expression of agency—and Bibb’s use of printers’ woodcuts instead of original illustrations. Here unoriginal images are used for a very original purpose, conveying complex and multivalent modes of agency.

2. “Geography and Tactile Graphics for the Blind”

David Weimer, Harvard Univ.

This paper further explores multivalent modes of word and image by considering atlases of the 1830s and ’40s developed for the blind. It compares two atlases from the early nineteenth-century US—one for the blind, Samuel Gridley Howe’s Atlas of the Principal Islands of the Globe (1838), and one for the sighted, Howe’s Atlas of the United States (1837)—as against Jedidiah Morse’s widely used Atlas to Morse’s New School Geography (1822). Using these graphics for the blind, the paper seeks to defamiliarize the relationship between word and image, and thus better analyze how words and graphics combine (or may not) in maps and other printed media. These graphics for the blind provide a peripheral but illuminating example of how nineteenth-century writers thought about the power of images and their wordy supplements.

3. “‘The Girl Who Inked Herself’: The Graphic Design of Female Literacy in Picture-Book Form”

Elizabeth Pope, American Antiquarian Society

This last paper turns to children’s literature, arguing that a picture book’s graphic narrative may not complement a written text but rather compete with its message. In the picture book The Girl Who Inked Herself and Her Books, and How It Ended (c. 1859), the illustrations dominate the first page, swallowing up the text. Having the whole story laid out visually on the first page means that “How it Ended” is prefigured from the start. The reader is forced to catch up with the text of the story on the next page in order to learn an ending that the viewer already knows. This paper shows how the format of picture books signals that visual lessons are just as important as the text, if not more so.

For an overview of all MLA 2014 sessions organized by the Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives, see here. For a full listing of other comics-related sessions at MLA 2014, see here.

Other Comics Studies Events @ MLA 2014

Program for the 129th MLA Annual Convention, Chicago, 9-12 January 2014

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

  1. “Malamine, un africain à Paris: A Closer Look at Contemporary Postcolonial Unbelonging,” Michelle Bumatay, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
  2. “Self-Construction of a Transnational Feminine Identity in an Andean Context: Power Paola’s Virus Tropical,” Felipe Gómez, Carnegie Mellon Univ.
  3. “Drawing Memories, Visualizing Texts: Transnational Belonging in GB Tran’s Vietnamerica,” Lan Dong, Univ. of Illinois, Springfield
  4. “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

  1. “A Slave Is Being Beaten: Word, Image, and the Subject of The Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb,” Laura Ruth Saltz, Colby Coll.
  2. “Geography and Tactile Graphics for the Blind,” David Weimer, Harvard Univ.
  3. “‘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

  1. “‘I Write the Broken Line’: Discursive Truth Telling in Antjie Krog’s Country of My Skull,” Alaina Kaus, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs
  2. “Speaking Freedom’s Language: United States Multicultural Literature and Human Rights Talk in an Emerging Democracy,” Amy K. Levin, Northern Illinois Univ.
  3. “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

  1. “Amor y Chisme: Melodramatic Mexican Chicago in Porque el amor manda and Sandra Cisneros’s Caramelo,” Olga Herrera, Univ. of Saint Thomas, MN
  2. “The Untold Midwestern Puerto Rican Story in Fred Arroyo’s Western Avenue and Other Fictions,” Marisel C. Moreno, Univ. of Notre Dame
  3. “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

Session Description:

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

  1. “Writer for Mayor: Jonathan Lethem, Norman Mailer, and Post-9/11 New York,” Jeffrey Severs, Univ. of British Columbia
  2. “Smoking on the Streets of New York: Art Spiegelman as ‘Rooted Cosmopolitan’ in the Shadow of September 11,” Jeffrey Clapp, Univ. of California, Irvine
  3. “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

  1. “Shocking Media: The Abu Ghraib Photographs and Zero Dark Thirty,” Liz Maynes-Aminzade, Harvard Univ.
  2. “Animal Cruelty: The Cinema of Kathryn Bigelow,” Christopher Pizzino, Univ. of Georgia
  3. “Torture, Rebirth, and Revelation in V for Vendetta and Save the Green Planet,” Peter Yoonsuk Paik, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  4. “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

  1. “Other Sides of Indonesia’s Mud Volcano: Victims, Disaster, and the Politics of Representation,” Phillip Drake, Univ. of Chicago
  2. “Nausicaa’s Insect Flute: Calling Out Azuma,” Margherita R. Long, Univ. of California, Riverside
  3. “Volcanic Eruption and Peninsular Politics: Representations of Mount Baekdu in Contemporary South Korea,” Adrian Thieret, Stanford Univ.
  4. “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.

  1. “The Use of the Demonstratives This/These and That/Those in Conversational English Narratives,” Paul J. Hopper, Carnegie Mellon Univ.
  2. “Framing Narrative Genres: From Words to Worldview,” Michael Sinding, Vrije Univ.
  3. “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

  1. “Little House and the Long Rifle: Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Anxiety of Armed Independence,” Louis Sherman
  2. “Black Power and the Right to Bear Arms,” Mai-Linh Hong, Univ. of Virginia
  3. “‘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

  1. “Writing to Survive: Child-Writing Characterization in Sade Adeniran’s Imagine This,” Suzanne Ondrus, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs
  2. “Constructing the Self: Pocket Diaries as Discipline in Nineteenth-Century America,” Martha L. Sledge, Marymount Manhattan Coll.
  3. “‘Okay! Fine! You Can Read It!’: Memory, Adolescence, and Belonging in Lauren Weinstein’s Girl Stories,” Tahneer Oksman, Marymount Manhattan Coll.
  4. “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

  1. “Revolutionary Memoirs: Women, Nation, and the Arab World,” Tahia Abdel Nasser, American Univ. in Cairo
  2. “Scheherazadean Cyborgs: Arab Women Diarists in the Digital Age,” Nadine Sinno, Georgia State Univ.
  3. “Desire and the Canonization of Arabic Literature,” Kifah Hanna, Trinity Coll., CT
  4. “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.

  1. “Scanlators like Us: Reading Community Ethics from Scanlated Manga,” Ayse Gursoy, Univ. of Texas, Austin
  2. “The Manipulation of Translator Involvement in Fansubbing,” Chia-hui Liao, National Formosa Univ.
  3. “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.

  1. “Odd Jobs: Malinky Robot and Malay Precarity in Singapore,” Aimee Bahng, Dartmouth Coll.
  2. “Letters from the Dead: Incendies and the Legacies of the Lebanese Civil War,” Salah D. Hassan, Michigan State Univ.
  3. “Transnational Capital, Branding, and Migrating Genres in New South African Urban Fiction,” Loren Kruger, Univ. of Chicago
  4. “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.

  1. “Recoding Silence: Teresa de Cartagena, Medieval Sign Lexicons, and Deaf Life Writing,” Jonathan H. Hsy, George Washington Univ.
  2. “‘Twisted and Deformed’: Virginia Woolf, Alison Bechdel, and Crip-Feminist Autobiography,” Cynthia Barounis, Washington Univ. in St. Louis
  3. “‘My Worry Now Accumulates’: Sensorial and Emotional Contagion in Autistic Life Writing,” Ralph James Savarese, Grinnell Coll.

For papers or abstracts, write to rea15@columbia.edu 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.

  1. “Organizing Anarchy: Class, Intellectual Property, and Graphic Satire,” Jason Kolkey, Loyola Univ., Chicago
  2. “The Reemergence of Radical Satire in the Late Nineteenth Century,” Frank A. Palmeri, Univ. of Miami
  3. “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.

Session Description:

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

  1. “Public Activism and Girlhood Agency: Malala Yousafzai in United States Media Coverage and Graphic Narrative,” Tracy Lemaster, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
  2. “When the Daughters of the Republic Became Terrorists: Kemalist Women in Turkish Popular Media,” Rustem Ertug Altinay, New York Univ.
  3. “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 egregory@uh.edu.

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

  1. “The Killing Tele-presence: Realizing Targets in Drone Warfare,” Jan Claas van Treeck, Yale Univ.
  2. “Drone Art: Disturbances and Disorientations,” Jennifer Rhee, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.
  3. “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/.