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Comics as Thinking, as Method, as Resistance

Having always been very taken by non fiction graphic narratives that deal with sociopolitical crises, when I started working on my doctoral dissertation on comics, I was initially concerned with how formal aspects of the comic medium  enable non-reductionist representation of complex and inter-sectional identities. Consequently, I wanted to consider how t how comics appeal to social justice. However, the more I thought about how comics accommodate narratives by and about people who have been historically pushed to the margins, how they help readers overcome social biases about gendered/racial/cultural Others—the more I was compelled to think about modes of production.

 

Primarily, if I am concerned with comics as literatures of resistance, I need to ask questions about accessibility and readability of my work: who are the readers for the final product? Who is my audience? If I seek to address people beyond the confines of academia, if I seek to address people who share the marginalized position/s my work is predominantly concerned with, how can I readjust or tailor my academic discourse to appeal to them?

 

These questions led me to comics, as a medium as well as a method— to address issues of accessibility of academic discourses, as well as to push the boundaries of visual art-based research in addressing social inequity. I I write about the above in detail in my two-part essay in Women Write About Comics. You can read Part One here and Part Two here. The first essay addresses how I was inspired by the works of Nick Sousanis (Unflattening) and Ebony Flowers (Hot Comb), the cultural perception of drawing and how it prevents us from using art-based methods in scholarly spaces, Lynda Barry's art-based pedagogy, and well as the use of comics as scholarship and comics as thinking. The second part addresses the affordances of the comics medium and comics as a holding environment to confront traumatic memories. 

Glimpse of the chapters I am currently working on:

Events

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Parties

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