Children’s Literature and Comics/Graphic Novels at MLA 2013

MLA Boston 2013

For those heading to the MLA in Boston (3-6 January 2013), here’s a handy list of panel sessions on either children’s literature or comics/graphic novels.  I compiled the list below by searching the MLA’s program for children’s literature (so, I may have missed some), and by re-posting the comics/graphic novels sessions from the MLA Comics/Graphic Narratives Discussion Group: sessions sponsored by the group & other comics/graphic novels events — I strongly encourage you to visit those pages for more information.  The second of the two pages also lists individual papers on comics and graphic narratives.


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

105. Theorizing the Early Reader

Thursday, 3 January3:30–4:45 p.m., Jefferson, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Division on Children’s Literature

Presiding: Abbye Meyer, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs

  1. “Curiosity Killed the Kid: The Drive for Knowledge in Early Readers,” Jennifer M. Miskec, Longwood Univ.
  2. “Empathy and the Developing Reader,” Karen Coats, Illinois State Univ.
  3. “From ‘Loose Baggy Monsters’ to ‘Terrific Fun!’: Adaptations of Victorian Novels for Young Readers,” Katie R. Peel, Univ. of North Carolina, Wilmington

132. Black Studies and Comics

Thursday, 3 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Back Bay D, Sheraton Boston

Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives

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
  2. “Birth of an Imperium: Tragedy, Comedy, and the Graphic Representation of African American History,” Jonathan W. Gray, John Jay Coll. of Criminal Justice, CUNY
  3. “A Work of Its Time and a Timeless Work: The Spirit, Ebony White, and Will Eisner’s Legacy,” Andrew James Kunka, Univ. of South Carolina, Sumter

201. Margin Call: The Marginalization of (Children’s) Poetry

Friday, 4 January8:30–9:45 a.m., Jefferson, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Division on Children’s Literature

Presiding: Michael Joseph, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick; Joseph Terry Thomas, San Diego State Univ.

  1. “New-Found Tongues,” Lissa Paul, Brock Univ.
  2. “(Mis)Reading Romantic Children’s Verse,” Donelle Ruwe, Northern Arizona Univ.
  3. “If This Is the Golden Age of Children’s Poetry, Why Is Everything So Yellow?” Richard McDonnell Flynn, Georgia Southern Univ.

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
  2. “Ethical Obligation in the Wartime Graphic Memoir: Theorizing the Face in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis,” Joseph Darda, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs
  3. “Atomic Bomb Manga,” Hillary Chute, Univ. of Chicago
  4. “Views from Nowhere: Journalistic Detachment in Joe Sacco’s Palestine,” Marc Singer, Howard Univ.

504. New England DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Comics

Saturday, 5 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., The Fens, Sheraton Boston

Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives

Presiding: Martha B. Kuhlman, Bryant Univ.

  1. “Minicomics and the Graphic Nonnovel,” Isaac Cates, Univ. of Vermont
  2. “Comics Culture and Community: Providence,” Martha B. Kuhlman
  3. “‘Like Us Be Free and Bold’: Innovation, Rebellion, and Self-Reliance in Boston Minicomics,” Susan E. Kirtley, Portland State Univ.
  4. “The Illegitimate Sons of Superman: DIY Publishing and the Rutland Halloween Parade,” Craig Fischer, Appalachian State Univ.

608. Children and Fame

Saturday, 5 January3:30–4:45 p.m., Public Garden, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Children’s Literature Association

Presiding: Nicole Lynne Wilson, Wayne State Univ.

  1. “Girls Just Want to Control the Fun: Power and Fame in Gossip Girl and The Clique,” Anne Layman Horn, Temple Univ., Philadelphia
  2. “‘The World Will Be Watching’: The Panoptic Nature of Fame in Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games Trilogy,” Nicole Lynne Wilson
  3. “‘Un-Chosen One Roolz!’: Sidekicks, Fame, and Autonomy in the Harry Potter Novels and Un Lun Dun,” Jennifer Mitchell, Weber State Univ.

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.

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

To quote the description from the MLA Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives’ blog, “Please join us for this informal mixer—and help us chart our future! Members of the Discussion Group’s Executive Committee will be on hand to chat about our programming, our plans, and the further growth of comics studies at the MLA. We invite your input, and hope to connect with all those who are interested in comics scholarship. Not to be missed!”


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


695. Race, Girlhood, and Social Justice in Children’s Literature

Sunday, 6 January10:15–11:30 a.m., Beacon A, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Children’s Literature Association and the MLA Committee on the Literatures of People of Color in the United States and Canada

Presiding: Michelle Holley Martin, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia

  1. “A Credit to Their People: Race and Resilient Rebirth in Ntozake Shange’s Whitewash and Alma Flor Ada’s My Name Is Maria Isabel,” Ada McKenzie, Coll. of the Bahamas
  2. “Battling for Opportunity: The Girl Soldiers of Shuttered Windows and Warriors Don’t Cry,”Sara Schwebel, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia
  3. “Fired Up: Compromising Social Justice in the Figure of the Girl,” Sarah Sahn, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana

Responding: Kristen Proehl, Clemson Univ.


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

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