Thursday, September 14, 2017


The Transnational Comics Studies Workshop would like to welcome everyone back! We have an exciting lineup of guests this year academic - and will be adding a few more - so please check out our schedule of events and stay tuned for more information!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Comic Books: A Pathway to Learning with cartoonist and educator Jerzy Drozd (January 25th)

Please join the Transnational Comics Studies Workshop on Wednesday, January 25th from 2:30-4pm in the 3rd floor Conference Room of the MLB (Room 3308) for a presentation on using comics in the classroom by cartoonist and educator Jerzy Drozd.

Comic Books: A Pathway to Learning 

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As teachers find a variety of uses for comics, graphicnovels and manga in the classroom, they need to understand the complex thinking and deep skills required to both read and create them. In this workshop, work with cartoonist Jerzy Drozd to explore the convergence of literary and artistic disciplines inherent in comics and see how comics can be a powerful way to build reading comprehension skills, such as prediction, inference, and fluency.

Copies of Drodz 64-page teaching kit will be distributed at the event. It contains example lesson plans for participants who want to take what they learned in the workshop into their own classrooms.

Bio: Jerzy Drozd is one of the artists of The Warren Commission Report. He leads cartooning workshops for children and teens in libraries and schools, as well as for teachers who want to bring comics to the classroom. He also podcasts about comics and how to make them. Drozd wrote and drew the graphic novel The Front, has worked on Antarctic Press’s Ninja High School and PPV: Pay-Per-View, and has drawn special projects for Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, Marvel Comics, VIZ Media, and others.

Please RSVP to Refreshments will be provided.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Conflict and Peace Initiative Lecture: Galvanizing Social Justice through Comics - A Talk by Award-Winning Graphic Novelist Joe Sacco

Thursday, January 19, 2017
5:00-7:00 PM
Michigan Theater

Leading graphic historical novelist Joe Sacco will chronicle how and why he uses the graphic novel format to catalyze social justice and human rights struggles in the U.S. and around the world. His award-winning novels include Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (a portrait of some of the most marginalized communities in the United States, co-created with Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges); Footnotes in Gaza (a narrative of oral histories collected from elderly Palestinians who witnessed and survived a mass murder during the 1956 Suez War); and Safe Area Gorazde (an account of the brutal effects of the war in the former Yugoslavia on a besieged town that Sacco visited during and after the war). This presentation is part of a series on social justice-oriented graphic novels organized by the International Institute’s Enterprise-funded Conflict and Peace Initiative. The event is in partnership with the Penny Stamps Distinguished Lecture Series.

The Conflict and Peace Initiative was launched in the fall of 2016 and is funded by the International Institute Enterprise Fund. Its focus is to build a cross-disciplinary approach to peace and conflict studies that engages, challenges, and inspires new audiences.

This event is cosponsored by the Transnational Comics Studies Workshop.

Disability and Representation in Autobiographical Comics

Please join the Transnational Comics Studies Workshop on Friday, January 13th from 2:30-4pm in the Hatcher Library Gallery (Room 100) for a presentation by Dr. Frederik Byrn Køhlert on Disability and Representation in Autobiographical Comics.

Disability and Representation in Autobiographical Comics

As studies of disability have long pointed out, to be figured as disabled is in key ways to be seen, and to always be the subject of others’ curiosity. Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, influentially, has argued that in disability’s “economy of visual difference, those bodies deemed inferior become spectacles of otherness while the unmarked are sheltered in the neutral space of normalcy.” In the form of comics, this particular relationship with visual embodiment is placed front and center for the reader to engage with, through drawn imagery on the page. For autobiographical comics, especially, this relationship raises questions about how authors might employ various visual codes in order to elude the objectifying gaze commonly associated with looking at disability. Using as its case study Al Davison’s memoir about living with spina bifida The Spiral Cage, this talk examines the relationship between disability, representation, visuality, and autobiography in comics.

Bio: Frederik Byrn Køhlert is a Lecturer at the University of East Anglia. His research concerns issues of representation in literary and visual culture, with a special emphasis on comics and graphic novels. He is the author of several articles about trauma, gender, and representation in autobiographical comics, as well as a monograph on literary representations of Chicago. His most recent research focuses on political comics and cartoons, and he is currently working on projects concerning the intersection of comics and anarchism and the international reception of Charlie Hebdo in the wake of the shootings at the newspaper’s editorial office. His book Serial Selves: Identity and Representation in Autobiographical Comics is forthcoming from Rutgers University Press.

This event is generously cosponsored by the UM Disability Initiative and the Disability Studies Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop.

Please RSVP to Refreshments will be provided.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

MK Czerwiec on the AIDS Crisis in LGBTQ Comics

Please join the Transnational Comics Studies Workshop for a presentation by MK Czerwiec on the AIDS Crisis in LGBTQ Comics on Wednesday, December 7th from 2:30-4pm in the Duderstadt (Advanced Training Lab 2- room 3336D).

MK Czerwiec is the Artist in Residence at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor at Columbia College Chicago in the Department of Creative Writing and Guest Cartoonist for the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation Blog. She is a nurse and cartoonist, who uses comics to reflect on the complexities of illness and caregiving, as well as a scholar researching caregiving in the gay community in preparation for her forthcoming book. Her current project examines the history of AIDS in comics, and she will present on the experience of AIDS in the gay community as reflected in comics, focusing on work that emerged during the AIDS crisis and after. Beyond her scholarship in the medical humanities, MK is also the co-organizer for

This event is generously cosponsored by the Institute for Research on Women & Gender, Women Studies, American Studies, Communication Studies and the Doing Queer Studies Now Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop.

Refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP to

Monday, August 22, 2016

Paul Buhle on Jews and American Comics: Wednesday, October 26th, 2:30-4pm

Wednesday, October 26th, 2:30-4pm: "Jews and American Comics, with a Strong Personal note" by Dr. Paul Buhle, Brown University.

The presentation will be followed by a discussion. Please email Elizabeth (Biz) Nijdam ( for reading materials. The event will take place in the 3rd Floor Conference Room of the MLB (Room 3308). Beverages and light snacks will be provided.


Jews and American Comics, with a Strong Personal note," Paul Buhle's presentation reaches from giants of the funny pages a century ago, Rube Goldberg and Harry Hershfield (not forgetting the Yiddish comic strips of Samuel Zagat and Zuni Maud) to the Jewish-American comic art of today, Art Spiegelman, Peter Kuper, Lauren Weinstein and Joey Perr, and the on line "Bernie Sanders Comics" organized by the speaker. What are the key points of art and narrative, how have they evolved and what is their meaning within the larger world of comic art? Secrets will be (nearly) revealed.