CFP: The Graphic 19th Century (MLA 2014)

Töpffer's Obadiah Oldbuck (New York, c. 1842), courtesy of the Dartmouth Digital Library Program

Call for Papers for a panel at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention, 9-12 Jan. 2014, in Chicago. Sponsored by the MLA Division on Nineteenth-Century American Literature.

The MLA Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives is pleased to announce this panel for MLA 2014 organized by its sister entity, the Division on the Nineteenth-Century American Literature.

The explosion of print media in the 19th century has become a critical commonplace; the impact of photographic images on the period been studied extensively. We invite submissions that take up the combination of word and image, as in 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. Abstracts by Mar. 15 to Augusta Rohrbach (augustrohrbach [at] gmail [dot] com) and Hillary Chute (chute [at] uchicago [dot] edu).

Other Comics Studies Events @ MLA 2013 (updated)

Program for the 128th MLA Annual Convention, Boston, 3-6 January 2013

Updated, 26 Dec. 2012: Besides the three panels and the cash bar (!) sponsored by our Discussion Group (i.e. the Comics and Graphic Narratives Group), MLA 2013 in Boston will host several other sessions dedicated or strongly related to comics studies, as well as many individual papers that, as far as we can tell from the program, relate to the field. Though the number of comics-themed events this time around does not quite match the all-time high set by last year, interest in comics at the MLA obviously remains strong—a hopeful sign for the future!

Sadly, the MLA’s searchable online program does not include the search term comics or graphic narratives in its drop-down menus, and, though it is possible to type those words (or any words) into the search field, not every panel or paper related to comics studies is necessarily labeled as such. So, skimming through the entire program remains the surest way to find all the comics-themed events at the convention. We’ve done that—and, in hopes of spreading the word about comics scholarship at MLA, we offer the following two lists.

The first list, Other Comics Studies Panels, consists of entire sessions either clearly devoted to or declaring a substantial interest in graphic narrative. By substantial interest we mean that the session either includes more than one paper definitely focused on comics and/or spotlights “comics” or “graphic narrative” in its title. Some of these panels are special (i.e. ad hoc and independent) sessions, while others are sponsored by standing MLA Divisions or allied organizations.

The second list, Individual Papers on Comics, consists of single papers that appear to focus on comics, cartooning, or visual narrative but within sessions organized around other topics. These we’ve listed by session and paper title, without listing all the other paper topics involved in these sessions.

We hope we haven’t missed any comics studies 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.

Other Comics Studies Panels:

90. Paintings and Photographs Remediated in Film, Graphic Narrative, and Newspaper

Thursday, 3 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Riverway, Sheraton Boston

Program arranged by the International Society for the Study of Narrative and the American Comparative Literature Association

Presiding: Emma Kafalenos, Washington Univ. in St. Louis; Lois Parkinson Zamora, Univ. of Houston

  1. “The Remediation of Painting within Cinematic Narrative Discourse,” David Henry Richter, Queens Coll., City Univ. of New York
  2. “Remediated Photographs and Reconstructed Memories: Personal and Familial Pasts in Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic,” Genie Giaimo, Northeastern Univ.
  3. “Front-Page Ekphrasis,” Lisa Zunshine, Univ. of Kentucky

623. Gender(ed) Performativities in Latin American and Latina/o Graphic Novels

Saturday, 5 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Room 205, Hynes Convention Center

Program arranged by the Division on Twentieth-Century Latin American Literature

Presiding: Hilda Chacón, Nazareth Coll. of Rochester

  1. “Unbecoming Cuban American: Representations of Female Subjectivity in Bad Habits: A Love Story, by Cristy Road,” Irune del Rio Gabiola, Butler Univ.
  2. “Ashes and Masks: Gender according to Gilbert Hernandez,” Christopher Pizzino, Univ. of Georgia
  3. “Trans-nepantlista Visual Geographies and the Inked Latina Body: Ana Mendieta’s Graphic Life Writing,” Emma Ruth García, Colby Coll.; Magdalena M. Maiz-Peña, Davidson Coll.

676. Re–Understanding Comics

Sunday, 6 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Gardner, Sheraton Boston

A special session

Presiding: Margaret Galvan, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York

  1. “The Citational Uses and Abuses of Understanding Comics and the Scholarly Futures They Forecast,” Michael Chaney, Dartmouth Coll.
  2. “Living Lines: Comics as a Phenomenological Encounter,” David Bahr, Borough of Manhattan Community Coll., City Univ. of New York
  3. “Drawing on Theory,” Samantha Close, Univ. of Southern California

Responding: Charles Hatfield, California State Univ., Northridge


709. Picturing Photography in Graphic Memoirs

Sunday, 6 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Berkeley, Sheraton Boston

A special session

Presiding: Courtney Baker, Connecticut Coll.

  1. “The Queer Contest between Modern and Postmodern Modes of Vision in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home,” Robin Bernstein, Harvard Univ.
  2. “Drawn Photographs and the Performance of (Post)Memory in Carol Tyler’s You’ll Never Know,” Mihaela Precup, Univ. of Bucharest
  3. “‘I Saw It’: The Photographic Witness of Keiji Nakazawa’s Barefoot Gen,” Laura Wexler, Yale Univ.

790. Comics, Moving Images, and Intermedial Criticism

Sunday, 6 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Gardner, Sheraton Boston

Program arranged by the Division on Film

Presiding: Nicholas Sammond, Univ. of Toronto; Paul D. Young, Vanderbilt Univ.

  1. “Autobiographical Constructions: Authorial Absence and Presence in Julie Doucet and Michel Gondry’s My New New York Diary,” Frederik Køhlert, Univ. of Montreal
  2. Avatar: The Last Airbender and Shifting Intermedial Spaces,” Sandra K. Stanley, California State Univ., Northridge
  3. “Spiegelman’s Home Movie: Art at Auschwitz,” Brad Prager, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia

In addition to these panels on comics studies, we’d like to highlight a session on another, possibly related topic chaired by our Comics and Graphic Narratives colleague Hillary Chute:

361. Video Games

Sunday, 6 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Gardner, Sheraton Boston

Program arranged by the Division on Popular Culture

Presiding: Hillary L. Chute, Univ. of Chicago

  1. “Playful Aesthetics,” Mary Flanagan, Dartmouth Coll.
  2. “Losing the Game: Gamification and the Procedural Aesthetics of Systemic Failure,” Patrick Jagoda, Univ. of Chicago
  3. “Acoustemologies of the Closet: The Wizard, the Troll, and the Fortress,” William Cheng, Harvard Univ.

Individual Papers on Comics:

59. Francophonies numérisées / Digital Francophonies

Thursday, 3 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Room 301, Hynes Convention Center

3. “Bandes dessinées téléchargeables: Un nouveau moyen de mesurer la diffusion de la langue française au 21ème siècle,” Henri-Simon Blanc-Hoang, Defense Lang. Inst.

72. Representing Genocide and Civil Conflict in Nonfiction Narrative

Thursday, 3 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., The Fens, Sheraton Boston

4. “Graphic Conflict: War and Genocide in Sequential Art,” Susan Jacobowitz, Queensborough Community Coll., City Univ. of New York

154. Teaching Arab Novels in English

Thursday, 3 January, 7:00–8:15 p.m., Room 307, Hynes Convention Center

2. “Intersections of Word and Image: The Lebanese Civil War in Graphic Form,” Carol N. Fadda-Conrey, Syracuse Univ.

178. Larger Than Life: Southern Heroes

Thursday, 3 January, 7:00–8:15 p.m., Beacon F, Sheraton Boston

2. “From the Old South to the New Frontier: Civil Rights, Black Masculinity, and Regional Superheroes in The American Way,” Brannon Costello, Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge

220. Image, Voice, Text: Canadian Literature

Friday, 4 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Beacon D, Sheraton Boston

3. “Aboriginal New Media: Alternative Forms of Storytelling,” Sarah Henzi, Univ. of Montreal

Presenter Sarah Henzi, in her comment posted here on Dec. 21st, notes, “I will be discussing the Graphic Novel in the context of Aboriginal/Native Literature.” Thank you, Sarah!

268. Disability Discourses: Bodily Selves and the Embodiment of Deviance

Friday, 4 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Hampton, Sheraton Boston

3. “Drawing Disability in Japanese Manga: Visual Politics, Cultural Attitudes, and Wheelchair Basketball in Inoue Takahiko’s Real,” Andrea Wood, Winona State Univ.

444. The Kafka Factor in Post-Holocaust Film and Literature

Saturday, 5 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Room 313, Hynes Convention Center

This roundtable on “the influence of Kafka’s work on post-1945 literature, graphic art, and film” promises to include discussion of “graphic art by Bechdel, Satrapi, Shaun Tan, and Yang.” The website for the session’s sponsoring organization, the Kafka Society, clarifies, stating that participant Susan Jacobowitz of Queensborough Community College, CUNY (who is also presenting a paper on comics in panel 72, above) will speak on

new aspects of the Kafka factor in five award-winning graphic works that engage with Kafka’s works and transcend disciplinary boundaries. Two of them are films. They explore themes such as Kafka’s criticism of family and society, alienation, persecution, and the grotesque struggle with bureaucracy. Shaun Tan’s “The Arrival” (2006) features frightening and wondrous visuals without text. A. Bechdel’s “Fun Home. A Family Tragicomic” (2006) revolves around a dysfunctional family; G. L. Yang’s “American Born Chinese” (2006) thematizes fitting in and dual identity; M. Satrapi’s “Persepolis” (film 2007) illustrates an exiled Iranian girl’s experiences in Vienna and Paris; A. Folman’s “Waltz with Bashir” (film 2008 and book 2009), explores personal experiences of the Holocaust generation and the filmmaker’s involvement in the Palestinian conflict.

680. Imagining Paradise: Nature, Ecology, and Culture in Kashmiri Literature

Sunday, 6 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Room 209, Hynes Convention Center

3. “Kashmir Pending: Kashmiri Militancy, Adolescence, and a Graphic Novel,” Patrick Colm Hogan, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs

747. Oscar Wilde in Print and Visual Culture

Sunday, 6 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Jefferson, Sheraton Boston

1. “Late Victorian Publicity: Oscar Wilde from The Artist to Punch,” Loretta A. Clayton, Macon State Coll.

770. New Perspectives on Emotion and Narrative across Media

Sunday, 6 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Beacon D, Sheraton Boston

3. “Empathy and Shared Feeling in Visual Narratives,” Jo Kremer, Yale Univ.

Other Comics Studies Events @ MLA 2012

In addition to the three sessions sponsored by our Discussion Group (i.e. the Comics and Graphic Narratives Group), MLA 2012 will be hosting many other events relevant to comics studies. In fact, the program shows that the MLA’s interest in comics and graphic narratives is at an all-time high. The amount of work being done on comics within the MLA now is startling to those who remember leaner, hungrier times—it’s a veritable groundswell!

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to search for the subjects comics or graphic narratives in the MLA’s searchable online program. So, to spread the word about this groundswell, we of the Comics and Graphic Narratives Group offer the following list of comics studies events at MLA 2012 other than our own.

The following panels are either clearly dedicated to or show a substantial interest (i.e., more than one paper’s worth) in graphic narrative. Some of them are “special,” i.e. independent, ad hoc, sessions, while others are sponsored by standing MLA Divisions or Discussion Groups. Of course there are some schedule conflicts among them (sigh):

95. The Graphic Novel in Latin America

Thursday, 5 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., University Room, Sheraton Seattle

Program arranged by the Division on Twentieth-Century Latin American Literature

Presiding: Hilda Chacón, Nazareth College of Rochester

  1. “Criminal Melodrama and Hypertrophic Gesture in ¡Alarma! and ¡Casos de Alarma!,” Sergio Delgado, Harvard U.
  2. La grabadora: En busca de una historia alternativa,” Javier Gonzalez, U. of Colorado, Boulder
  3. Rupay, the Photojournalistic Archive, and the Sendero War,” Kent L. Dickson, California State Polytechnic U., Pomona

181. Graphic Narratives Retelling History: Germany

Friday, 6 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., University Room, Sheraton Seattle

Program arranged by the Division on Slavic and East European Literatures and the Division on European Literary Relations

Presiding: Ema Vyroubalova, Trinity Coll., Dublin

  1. “Sequential Berlin: Jason Lutes’s City of Stones Series,” Ksenia Sidorenko, Yale U.
  2. “Retelling History in the Borderlands: Jaroslav Rudiš’s Alois Nebel and Bomber by Jaromír 99,” Martha B. Kuhlman, Bryant U.
  3. “Retelling German History with the Graphic Novel,” Elizabeth Nijdam, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor

For abstracts, visit mlaslavicdivision2012.blogspot.com.


183. Deep Drawings: Sociopolitical Themes in Anime and Manga

Friday, 6 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Virginia Room, Sheraton Seattle

A special session

Presiding: Joshua Paul Dale, Tokyo Gakugei U.

  1. “Alternative Manga Magazines in Postwar Japanese Comics: Garo and COM,” CJ Suzuki, Baruch Coll., CUNY
  2. “Subversive Cute: The Other Serious Anime and Manga,” Kerin Ogg, Wayne State U.
  3. “Current-Affairs Comics in a Global Context: The Comic Heart of Darkness,” Marie Thorsten, Doshisha U.

Respondent: Joshua Paul Dale


316. Asian Americans and Graphic Narrative

Friday, 6 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Room 303, Washington State Convention Center

Program arranged by the Division on Asian American Literature

Presiding: Timothy Yu, U. of Wisconsin, Madison

Speakers: Rachelle Cruz, UC Riverside; Lan Dong, U. of Illinois, Springfield; Tomo Hattori, CSU Northridge; Caroline Kyungah Hong, Queens Coll., CUNY; Hye Su Park, Ohio State U., Columbus; Gene Luen Yang, San Jose, CA

Session Description:

Gene Luen Yang, author of American Born Chinese, will be the featured speaker in this discussion of Asian American graphic narrative. Graphic novels and memoirs form an increasingly important part of the Asian American literary canon, offering new insights into issues of stereotyping, autobiography, and historical memory. GB Tran’s Vietnamerica, Adrian Tomine’s Shortcomings, and Lynda Barry’s One Hundred Demons will be among the works discussed.


409. Visual and Graphic Representations by Hispanic/Luso/Latina Female Writers and Artists

Saturday, 7 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Redwood Room, Sheraton Seattle

Program arranged by Feministas Unidas

Presiding: Magdalena M. Maiz-Peña, Davidson Coll.

  1. “Representación visual y corporal de la memoria y postmemoria en Bordado en la piel de la memoria de Mirta Kupferminc,” Daniela Goldfine, U. of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  2. “La transfiguración femenina: Del animal cínico al terrorismo gótico de la abyección. El comic serial de Cecila Pego y Caro Chinaski,” Carina González, U. of Florida
  3. “Bodies at the Crossroads: Latinas’ Latina Graphic Narratives,” Margaret Galvan, Graduate Center, CUNY
  4. “Mutation and Visibility: The Representation of a Female Body in Dominican Visual Art,” Elena Valdez, Rutgers U., New Brunswick

For abstracts, visit feministas-unidas.org.


486. Visual Culture

Saturday, 7 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Redwood Room, Sheraton Seattle

Program arranged by the Women’s Caucus for the Modern Languages

Presiding: Inmaculada Pertusa, Western Kentucky Univ.

  1. “From Writing to Painting: Caterina Albert and Mercè Rodoreda,” Kathleen McNerney, West Virginia U., Morgantown
  2. “Alissa Torres’s Graphic Tale of Grief: American Widow; or, My Husband Bleeds History,” Janis Breckenridge, Whitman Coll.
  3. “The Anxiety of Density in Graphic Novels: Solutions Based on Genderic Conventions and Creative Collaborations,” Maria Elsy Cardona, Saint Louis U.
  4. “Helen Zouk’s ‘Desapariciones’: Shooting Death,” David William Foster, Arizona State U.

570. Ethnographic Encounters: Jewish American and Italian American Graphic Narratives

Saturday, 7 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Room 307, Washington State Convention Center

Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Italian American Literature and the Discussion Group on Jewish American Literature

Presiding: JoAnne Ruvoli, UCLA

  1. “From Caricature to Complexity: Drawing the Relationship between Italians and Jews in America,” Jennifer Glaser, U. of Cincinnati
  2. “America Makes Strange Jews: Jewish Identity and Pulp Masculinity in Howard Chaykin’s Dominic Fortune,” Brannon Costello, Louisiana State U., Baton Rouge
  3. “Shades of Old World and New: Ethnic Engagements in Nonsuperhero Italian American Comics,” Derek Parker Royal, U. of Nebraska, Kearney

For abstracts, visit www.aihaweb.org/italianamericanliterature.htm after 24 Dec. 2011.


630. Comics, Bande Dessinée, Manga: For a Comparative Approach to the Study of Comics

Sunday, 8 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Room 310, Washington State Convention Center

A special session

Presiding: Catherine Labio, U. of Colorado, Boulder

  1. “‘Aint I de Maine Guy in Dis Parade?’: Sympathetic Immigrant Narratives and the Transnational Worker in Early American Comic Strips,” Michael T. R. Demson, Sam Houston State U.
  2. “Academic Fandom and the Other-ed Side in American Comic Book Studies,” Shawna Kidman, USC
  3. “Masochistic Contracts, Bishōnen, and the Rejection of Futurity: How to Read Manga like a Victorian Woman,” Anna Maria Jones, U. of Central Florida

699. Graphic Narratives Retelling History: Serbia and Bosnia

Sunday, 8 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Virginia Room, Sheraton Seattle

Program arranged by the Division on Slavic and East European Literatures

Presiding: Rossen Djagalov, Yale U.

  1. “The Nova Dobo Festival of Nonaligned Comics in Belgrade,” Lisa Mangum, Independent Publishing Resource Center
  2. “How We Survived War, Sanctions, and NATO Bombing, and Then Laughed: Regards from Serbia by Alexandar Zograf,” Damjana Mraovic-O’Hare, Penn State U., University Park
  3. “Back into Bosnian: Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Goražde Returns Home from War,” Jessie M. Labov, Ohio State U., Columbus

Respondent: Martha B. Kuhlman, Bryant Univ.

For abstracts, visit http://mlaslavicdivision2012.blogspot.com.


734. Self-Narrating Lives: Genre-Bending Autobiographical Works

Sunday, 8 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Room 611, Washington State Convention Center

A special session

Presiding: Johanna Drucker, UCLA

Speakers: Maria Faini, UC Berkeley; Anna Gibbs, U. of Western Sydney; William Kuskin, U. of Colorado, Boulder; Vanessa Place, Les Figues Press; Christine Wertheim, California Institute of the Arts

Session Description:

This session explores the complexities of self-narration across media and formats with particular emphasis on those that blur genre lines. Autobiographical artists’ books, graphic novels are often highly self-reflexive, and their metacharacter as books about books, or subversions of norms, makes them sites of citation and parody in which formal mimicry and content play with readers’ expectations.


Wait, there’s more: Besides the above panels, search of the MLA program turns up other individual papers that may focus on comics, graphic narrative, 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 those sessions:

50. Writing Lives, Living Lives in French: Camille Delaville, Nathalie Sarraute, and Marjane Satrapi

Thursday, 5 January, 1:45-3:00 p.m., Columbia Room, Sheraton Seattle

3. “Exile and Ethics: (En)Gendering Cosmopolitan Conversation in Marjane Satrapi’s Broderies,” S. Olivia Donaldson, U. of Wisconsin, Madison

139. Peripheral Conversations: South-South Dialogues

Thursday, 5 January, 7:00–8:15 p.m., Room 307, Washington State Convention Center

1. “The Revolution Will Be Cartooned! African Political Cartoonists and the North African Uprising,” Tejumola Olaniyan, U. of Wisconsin, Madison

342. Asynchronous Empire

Friday, 6 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Room 306, Washington State Convention Center

3. “The Time of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Empire, Masculinity, and the Afterlife of Late-Victorian Adventure Fiction,” Ryan Fong, UC Davis

471. Asian/Jewish/American

Saturday, 7 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Room 304, Washington State Convention Center

3. “Graphic Transformations: Ethno-racial Identity and Discovery in Two Comics of Childhood,” Tahneer Oksman, Graduate Center, CUNY

473. Performing Identity in Late Life

Saturday, 7 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Virginia Room, Sheraton Seattle

2. “Melancholic Morphing: Aging Male Protagonists in Recent American Graphic Novels,” Adrielle Anna Mitchell, Nazareth Coll. of Rochester

(We note that our esteemed colleague, Leni Marshall of the U. of Wisconsin, Menomonie, is presiding over this session on behalf of the Discussion Group on Age Studies, with whom we collaborated last year!)

692. Human Rights Modes: Testimony

Sunday, 8 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Room 306, Washington State Convention Center

1. “Witness/Testimony: Graphic Narrative as Témoignage in the Humanitarian Work of Médecins sans Frontières,” Alexandra W. Schultheis, U. of North Carolina, Greensboro


NOTE: If you are presenting a comics-related paper or event at MLA 2012 and we have failed to list you here, please leave a comment on this blog so that we can correct the oversight. Likewise, everyone listed here, please help us keep this list accurate and up-to-date!

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!