2013 UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels
“A Comic of Her Own: Women Writing, Reading, and Embodying Through Comics”
For video recordings of keynotes, panels and workshops from the “Comic of Her Own” conference, please see our new “Comic of Her Own” conference video page!
Trina Robbins’ A Century of Women Cartoonists responds to a comics history which often forgets women. In the past few years, interest has grown around women working in the comics industry, perhaps best exemplified by Hillary Chute’s 2010 Graphic Women. Similarly, academia has made many inroads into comics and gender through scholarship on superheroines in mainstream comics. Jeffrey A. Brown’s 2011 Dangerous Curves: Action Heroines, Gender, Fetishism, and Popular Culture, Jennifer Stuller’s 2010 Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology, and Mike Madrid’s 2009 The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines, not to mention works by Trina Robbins and Lillian Robinson, attest to this growing interest in the representation of women in comics. However, these two scholarly fields rarely engage in meaningful dialog, despite their mutual interest: the examination of women in comics, whether behind the scenes or on the page. This conference hopes to facilitate this dialog and foster the scholarly exploration of intersections between women’s writing in comics, women represented in comics, and the women who read them. To accommodate this goal, the conference will feature a mixture of formats: keynote lectures, workshops and Q & A sessions with guest artists, a roundtable discussion, and traditional academic conference presentations.
Jeffrey A. Brown
Jeffrey A. Brown received his doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Toronto in 1997. He is currently an Associate Professor and the Graduate Coordinator with the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He has also been a curator with the Royal Ontario Museum and a guest curator for the Toledo Museum of Art and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Dr. Brown is the author of two books, Black Superheroes: Milestone Comics and Their Fans and Dangerous Curves: Gender, Fetishism and the Modern Action Heroine (both with the University of Mississippi Press). He is also the author of numerous academic articles about gender, ethnicity and sexuality in contemporary media that have appeared in journals such as Screen, Cinema Journal, The African American Review, Feminist Review, Differences, Men and Masculinities, and The Journal of Popular Film and Television.
Leela Corman studied painting, printmaking and illustration at Massachusetts College of Art. Her book Queen’s Dayearned her a Xeric Award in 1999 and was called “music to my eyes” by Scott McCloud. She has created two more graphic novels including her latest, Unterzakhn, published by Schocken/Pantheon. She has illustrated books for major publishers on crafts, fashion, gardening, dating and other topics. She is also an accomplished bellydancer and bellydance instructor. Corman and her husband, Tom Hart, are the founders of The Sequential Artists Workshop, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prosperity and promotion of comic art and artists, offering instruction in comic art, graphic novels and visual storytelling in vibrant Gainesville, Florida, where she is also an adjunct instructor at University of Florida. See her website.
Megan Kelso (b.1968, Seattle, WA) is one of the first cartoonists to make comics that stem from a literary tradition. The Onion’s AV Club has said, “Kelso’s work radiates a warmth, poetry, sympathy, and simultaneously an earthy and otherworldly essence that few comics creators have brought to the table with such quiet confidence and grace.” While attending the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, she was inspired by the explosion of ‘zines, bands and DIY art projects going on at the time and started self-publishing the influential Riot grrl minicomic “Girlhero.” After graduating, she moved back to Seattle. Between 1993 and 1997, she self-published 6 issues of “Girlhero” with the help of a grant from the Xeric Foundation. In 1998, Highwater Books collected the best work from the “Girlhero” comics in a book called “Queen of the Black Black.” Fantagraphics Books published her second short story collection, The Squirrel Mother in 2006. In 2007, the New York Times chose Megan to create a strip for the Sunday magazine. The resulting story, “Watergate Sue”, ran weekly in that paper for six months, in a slot occupied at other times by Chris Ware and Jaime Hernandez. In 2010 Fantagraphics published Megan’s double-Ignatz Award-winning graphic novel, Artichoke Tales. Megan is currently at work on a third collection of short stories. In the summer of 2011 she was selected to be a finalist for the Artist Trust Arts Innovator award, and in the fall of 2012 She was a Master Artist in Residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida.
Award-winning herstorian and writer Trina Robbins has been writing graphic novels, comics and books for over thirty years, ever since she produced the first all-woman comic book, It Ain’t Me, Babe, in 1970. Her comics have ranged from Wonder Woman and the Powerpuff Girls to her own teenage superheroine, GoGirl! and her YA graphic novel series, The Chicagoland Detective Agency. The subjects of her books have ranged from women cartoonists to superheroines; from women who kill to killer women nightclub dancers. She is considered the expert on the subject of early 20th century women cartoonists, and is responsible for rediscovering many brilliant but previously-forgotten women, including Golden Age cartoonist Lily Renee, and the great Nell Brinkley. Her full-color book, The Brinkley Girls: the Best of Nell Brinkley’s Cartoons from 1913-1940 (Fantagraphics), was published in 2009, and her collection of Miss Fury strips by woman cartoonist Tarpe Mills (IDW) came out in 2011. Her final and definitive history of women cartoonists, Pretty in Ink, will see publication in August, 2013. In the works is a collection of the Golden Age comics of Lily Renee.
The Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research; The Rose and David Dortort Foundation; The English Department at the University of Florida; The English Graduate Organization; ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies; Phil Wegner, Marston-Milbauer Eminent Chair in English; The University of Florida Research Foundation; Xerographics Copy Center
- Tamar Ditzian, GCO President
- contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Najwa Al-tabaa
- Melissa Loucks
- Anuja Madan
- Katie Shaeffer
- Kayley Thomas
- Walton Wood