Friday, 8 January Satire and the Editorial Cartoon 5:15–6:30 p.m. Program arranged by the Forum GS Comics and Graphic Narratives Presiding: Nhora Lucia Serrano, Harvard Univ. “The Radical Genealogy of the Editorial Cartoon,” Frank A. Palmeri, Univ. of Miami “Between Words and Pictures: Telling the Graphic Story of United States Slavery in Abolitionist Satirical Cartoons,” Martha J. Cutter, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs “Punch, Counterpunch: Mimicry, Parody, and Critique in the Colonial Public Sphere,” Tanya Agathocleous, Hunter Coll., City Univ. of New York “Pulling John Chinaman’s Queue to Get Him in Line: Domesticating Gestures in Nineteenth-Century PunchCartoons,” Joe Sample, Univ. of Houston, Downtown Saturday, 9 January Latina/o ComicsRead More →

Session 657. Cash Bar Arranged by the Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives Saturday, 5 January, 7:00–8:15 p.m. Independence West, Sheraton Boston … Please join us for this cash bar and informal get-together! We are eager to meet with everyone at MLA who is interested in comics studies. Members of our Executive Committee will be on hand to chat about our future plans, ideas for programming and community-building, and the further growth of comics studies both at the MLA and across academia. We invite your input, and hope to connect with you! For an overview of all MLA 2013 sessions organized by the DiscussionRead More →

Session 504. New England DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Comics Saturday, 5 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m. The Fens, Sheraton Boston Presiding: Martha B. Kuhlman, Bryant Univ. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) comics and “minicomics” are distinct from the more familiar graphic novel in at least two fundamental respects: they are relatively cheap to produce, and they sell for little money or are entirely free. Liberated from the typical economic imperatives of mass appeal and marketability, minicomics have the potential to be more spontaneous, rebellious, personal, and experimental than longer-form graphic novels—and yet they are rarely studied due to their ephemeral nature. With a regional focus befitting our Boston locale, New EnglandRead More →

Session 303. Graphic Lives in Wartime Friday, 4 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m. The Fens, Sheraton Boston Program jointly arranged by the Division on Autobiography, Biography, and Life Writing and the Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives Presiding: Linda Haverty Rugg, UC Berkeley; Joseph (Rusty) Witek, Stetson Univ.… 1. “Joe Sacco on Joe Sacco” Julia Watson, Ohio State Univ., Columbus Joe Sacco’s graphic memoirs trace a space between documentary journalism and the affective power of eyewitness testimony. They problematize the relationship of history and memory even as they take up unofficial and neglected histories and gloss them via the powerful and moving detail of visual images.Read More →

Session 132. Black Studies and Comics Thursday, 3 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m. Back Bay D, Sheraton Boston Presiding: Qiana Joelle Whitted, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia 1. “(In)Visible Bodies: Rewriting the Politics of Passing in Incognegro, a Graphic Mystery by Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece” Christophe Dony, Univ. of Liège How can passing across racial lines be described and conveyed in the comics form? Can the medium develop specific strategies to comment on the themes of transgression and crossing inherent to the trope of passing? This paper shows how the graphic novel Incognegro (2008) goes beyond the traditional socio-historical analysis of passing and plays thematically, generically,Read More →

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 →