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 →

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 →

We, the MLA Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives, are proud to announce our sessions for the 127th Annual MLA Convention, to be held 5-8 January 2012 in Seattle, Washington. See below for the lineup in brief—or click here to read the full abstracts for all sessions! Besides the sessions we’re sponsoring, there will be several others in Seattle dedicated to comics. Comics studies activity within the MLA, to our continuing delight, keeps growing! We’ll identify these in a future post. Please bookmark this blog and check in the weeks to come, as the Seattle meeting draws nearer! Note: Only a limited number ofRead More →

Session 371. The Material History of Spider-Man (A 50th Anniversary Observance) Friday, 6 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m. Room 606, Washington State Convention Center Presiding: Jonathan W. Gray, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY … 1. Written in the Body: Spider-Man, Venom, and the Specter of Biopower Ben Bolling, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Psychoanalytic readings of the Spider-Man mythos may be augmented by considering the nervous preoccupation with biopower that undergirds the Wall-crawler’s fifty-year transmedia history. Considered within the frame of Foucault’s biopolitics, Peter Parker’s famous encounter with the irradiated spider leads not to his individual empowerment, but rather to the co-opting of hisRead More →

Session 399. How Seattle Changed Comics Saturday, 7 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m. Room 303, Washington State Convention Center Presiding: Hillary L. Chute, University of Chicago … 1. Ernie Pook and the Emerald City: Lynda Barry’s Seattle Susan E. Kirtley, Portland State University Lynda Barry moved to Seattle from Wisconsin as a child, and though she has said she “never was happy” there, she returns to the city time and again in her work, particularly in her long-running strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek and her semi-autobiographical collection One Hundred Demons. This paper explores how Barry chooses to render Seattle through her comic art and how the city influencesRead More →

  Session 579. Why Comics Are and Are Not Picture Books Saturday, 7 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m. Room 303, Washington State Convention Center Presiding: Charles Hatfield, California State University, Northridge; Craig Svonkin, Metropolitan State College of Denver Session jointly arranged by the MLA Division on Children’s Literature and the MLA Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives … Both picture books and comics participate in children’s culture and literacy learning; both build narratives visually. Yet their kinship is obscured by different ideological frameworks: picture books are generally seen as empowering young readers to take part in a social structure that prizes official literacy; comics, in contrast,Read More →

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,Read More →