Comics, Creativity, and Culture: Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives, Fall 2011

In Fall 2011 the Obermann Humanities Symposium “Comics, Creativity, and Culture: Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives" will be held on the UI campus (October 6-8). This seminar leading up to the symposium will prepare graduate students for informed and fully engaged participation in the symposium and related events by offering an advanced, intensive introduction to contemporary comics (or “graphic novels”), now increasingly acknowledged as a legitimate form of artistic expression, historical narrative, and cultural analysis.  Compact surveys of the formal and historical aspects of comics will allow for and lead to interdisciplinary consideration of texts by key contemporary figures including Jessica Abel, Matt Madden, James Sturm, Joe Sacco, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, and Phoebe Gloeckner, as well as notable scholarship within the growing body of “comics studies.”  The Symposium will feature presentations by artists and critics examined in the seminar and thus offer students a rare opportunity to interact directly with the writers and artists of the work they have studied.  An additional follow-up session will consider students’ perspectives in light of the Symposium.

Dr. Ana Merino is an Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at the University of Iowa, specializing in Creative Writing. She also works on Comics and Graphic Novels Criticism, Testimonial Representations and theories of Childhood Poverty and Marginality. She has published seven books of poetry, a youth novel, a scholarly book on comics and numerous articles and essays. Her poetry has been translated to several languages and it's included in more than twenty collections.
Co-director , University of Iowa , English, Cinematic Arts, and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies
Corey K. Creekmur is jointly appointed in Cinematic Arts and English and is affiliated with the Department of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies and the South Asian Studies Program. He also directs the Institute for Cinema and Culture. His research focuses on international popular cinema, cross-cultural film genres, and the way such films interact with other media. His work in American literature and popular culture deals with popular genres, including detective fiction and comics.
Co-director , University of Iowa , Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies and Art & Art History
Dr. Rachel Marie-Crane Williams, is an artist, teacher, and scholar with a joint appointment between the School of Art & Art History (Intermedia) and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Her work as a researcher and creative scholar has always been focused on women’s issues, community, art, and people who are incarcerated.