Month: February 2015

MLA CFP: Developments in Comics Pedagogy (200- to 350-word abstracts due March 1)

Keith McCleary at UC San Diego and I are pleased to report that our CFP for the Modern Language Association’s 2016 roundtable, “Developments in Comics Pedagogy,” is now online at Please visit this link for more information:

We welcome submissions (200- to 350-word abstracts) that identify innovative approaches to teaching all aspects of comics—broadly considered in terms of production, research, and appreciation—in upper- and lower-division courses in literature, language, and related studies.

This special session is an exciting opportunity to share your pedagogical practices with other scholars and teachers interested in comic books, graphic novels, and other visual narratives. The roundtable format also allows for an energetic discussion between participants and audience members, which will make this sessions stand out during the 2016 meeting of the MLA in Austin, Texas.

250- to 300-word abstracts are due by March 1 via email to both and

My Upcoming Conference Presentations: Poe and Satirical Comic Books

Aside from scheduling any local comic book/anime conventions, here are the academic conferences where I’m presenting in the upcoming months:

“Detecting the Complementary Poles of Sentiment and Sensation in Poe’s ‘The Oblong Box.’” Poe Studies Association International Conference. February 27

“Comedy and Comics: Parody, Satire, and Humor in Superhero Narratives.” Northeast Modern Language Association. May 1

“Detecting the Complementary Poles of Sentiment and Sensation in Poe’s ‘The Oblong Box’” will be my second presentation to the Poe Studies Association, after presenting as part of their joint sessions with the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society in 2013 at the Modern Language Association. As suggested by my presentation’s title, I draw upon an argument by Jonathan Elmer regarding representations of gender in both sensationalism and sentimentalism. Both literary approaches are common to Poe’s body of literature, even in the same tale. Poe draws upon both literary practices when writing “The Oblong Box,” which makes this text an important but overlooked tale of ratiocination, and one that I argue re-arranges the tropes of the detective genre as concerns representations of men and women. As one of his last stories within the detective genre, “The Oblong Box” prompts re-consideration of the overall tract Poe followed when it comes to positioning female characters in “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt,” and other tales as victims of violence, and men as alternating between rational, stoic detectives and mourning, bereaved acquaintances or lovers.

In addition to this exciting session at the Poe Conference coming up, I’m looking forward to the NeMLA session, “Comedy and Comics: Parody, Satire, and Humor in Superhero Narratives,”  as it will continue a discussion I held at the Modern Language Association earlier this year, as part of the Graduate Caucus’s roundtable, on my participation in online fan communities. My practices in those communities often take satiric approaches when it comes to representations of gender in comics, which corresponds with similar practices found at Escher Girls and The Hawkeye Initiative. Rafael Ponce-Cordero at Keene College, with whom I collaborated in previous academic convention sessions, had the great idea for a session on humor as it operates in the superhero genre and in comics overall. I’m happy to join co-organize with Rafael the session “Comedy and Comics,” and I’m looking forward to my presentation for this session, “For the LOLz: Comedic Reinterpretations of the Superhero in Online Fan Communities.”

Back to writing.