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Comic Studies

Scott Smith, Department of English
Joel Priddy, Department of Graphic Design

Comics studies is a rapidly growing academic field, as witnessed by the soaring number of new monographs, essay collections, and series recently published by university presses. At the same time, broader cultural interest in comics and graphic novels continues to grow, with increased presence in university syllabi across disciplines. In addition to engaging larger conversations in comics studies, this group will build upon initiatives that are already underway at Penn State, such as the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize and the Graphic Medicine series published by the Penn State University Press. Our group will explore how faculty and graduate students can contribute professionally to this burgeoning field in terms of both scholarship and teaching. Our meetings will also prepare faculty and students to intervene productively in nascent or contested areas, such as the challenges of scholarly editing in comics or the formation and maintenance of archives of texts that were long considered ephemeral. Finally, the group will work to create new courses and to propose a cross-disciplinary minor in Comics Studies at Penn State.

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