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 enijdam@umich.edu. 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 graphicmedicine.org.

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 enijdam@umich.edu.

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 (enijdam@umich.edu) 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.

Dale Jacobs on his 1976 Project: Friday, September 23rd, 2:30-4pm

Friday, September 23rd, 2:30-4pm: "The 1976 Project: A Year in Comic Book Publishing" by Dr. Dale Jacobs, English, University of Windsor.

The presentation will be followed by a discussion. Please email Elizabeth (Biz) Nijdam (enijdam@umich.edu) 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.


The 1976 Project: A Year in Comic Book Publishing

In this presentation, I will describe, in general terms, my current large project – an examination of comic book publishing in 1976. Such an examination exists at the confluence of a number of disciplines. First, the focus on a single year draws on methodologies from book history, notably Sydney Shep’s model of model of production, distribution and consumption that focuses on “the complex dynamic intercrossings between people (prosopography), places (placeography) and objects (bibliography).” The rhetorical nature of Shep’s ideas, combined with the necessity of situating comic book publishers as sponsors of multimodal literacy within such a model, means that this project draws on methodologies and ways of thinking from a variety of fields, including Comics Studies, Rhetoric and Composition, Literacy Studies, and Book History.

By focusing on a single year, I endeavor to show how and why it is important to examine the history of comics and the literacies surrounding that history in ways that go beyond the creation of a canon of great works in comics, and why using a diverse set of methodologies is crucial in such an examination. This presentation will give a glimpse into some of the research and thinking I have done to this point, both in terms of specifics from 1976 and the larger methodological and interdisciplinary implications outlined above.