The Comics Studies Society


NB: Due to space restrictions and demand, conference delegates may only register for one Lunch Workshop.
Registration is limited to 40 people per workshop. Information and materials from the workshops will be available to all CSS members after the conference.

  • Workshop 1 Sign-up: Designing Comics Courses (Thursday, July 25th, 1-2pm) [workshop full]
  • Workshop 2 Sign-up: Cultivating Public Scholarship (Saturday, July 27th, 1-2pm)



Thursday, July 25th 1:00-2:00pm
Facilitators: Susan Kirtley (Portland State University) and Jay Olinger (Portland Community College)

This hands-on workshop will guide participants through the process of designing comics courses, including developing goals and outcomes, planning the curriculum, choosing texts, crafting assignments, and scaffolding activities to help facilitate an enriching educational experience for students and instructors!
As the Director of the Comics Studies Program at Portland State University, Dr. Susan Kirtley is keenly interested in best practices for teaching with comics, and is co-editing the forthcoming volume, With Great Power Comes Great Pedagogy: Teaching, Learning, and Comic Books, forthcoming from the University Press of Mississippi. Kirtley also studies feminism and graphic narratives, including her book A Woman’s Place: The Rhetoric of Domesticity in Female-Created Comic Strips from 1976-2012, under contract with the Ohio State University Press, and she is presenting her work on “If She be Worthy: Feminist Community Building in Jason Aaron’s Thor,” at this year’s Comics Studies Society conference.
Currently, Jay Olinger is working on developing programming, workshops, and community building with Miss Anthology, a non-profit organization in Portland, Oregon that focuses on providing female and LGBTQIA+ youth with resources and materials. She is also developing hybrid and online comics courses, lesson plans, activities, and syllabi at Portland Community College. Olinger has previously presented on the formal qualities of Becky Cloonan’s The Mire, and is continuing her research on the Golden Age heroine, Fantomah, which was presented at the 2017 Comics Arts Conference at San Diego Comic Con. She is presenting, “Poe-nography: From Gothic to Erotic” at this year’s Comics Studies Society conference.


Saturday, July 27th 1:00-2:00pm
Facilitators: Osvaldo Oyola (New York University) and Adrienne Resha (The College of William and Mary

The “Cultivating Public Scholarship” workshop will focus on planning, organizing and structuring public-facing scholarly writing for the internet or popular press and on developing a best practices toolkit for social media. Osvaldo Oyola will lead a discussion of how the relative immediacy of the format allows for an on-going conversation between Comics Studies and current events that both various aficionados of comics (scholars, aca-fans, artist-researchers, etc.) and the more casual fan or scholar can use. As well, the workshop will explore best practices in making use of social media to promote and discuss such scholarship, and as a method to network with other scholars or academy adjacent writers, artists, and thinkers. Adrienne Resha will lead a discussion of how to develop a best practices toolkit for social media that will include community-building, politics (such as that of invisible labor and especially citational politics), and harassment in digital spaces concerning Comics Studies but also comics more broadly. Participants will be asked to produce and workshop micro public-facing, digital scholarship during the session, such as live-tweeting or blogging.

Dr. Osvaldo Oyola successfully defended his dissertation, (re)Collecting Identity: Popular Culture and Narratives of Authentic Self in Transnational Americain April 2014, securing his PhD in English from Binghamton University. In it, he explores how popular culture and collecting practices are put to use as framework for positioning identity in a transnational American literary context, including memoir, comics and literary fiction. Osvaldo’s dedication to public scholarship manifests in his writing for and editing of The Middle Spaces, a blog focused on academic, but accessible takes on popular culture, race, and gender. He also has written on comics for sites such as The Los Angeles Review of Books, Apex, and Shelfdust. He serves on the Executive Committee for the International Comics Art Forum and lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he grew up. He is currently a lecturer in the New York University Expository Writing Program.
Adrienne Resha is a Ph.D. student in the American Studies Program at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and anthropology from Florida State University and a master’s degree in Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies from the University of Virginia. At UVA, she completed her master’s thesis, “The ‘Embiggening’: Marvel’s Muslim Ms. Marvel and American Myth.” Her research interests include Arab and Muslim representation in American popular media, the superhero genre, and (new) media theory. Adrienne presented “The Blue Age of Comic Books” at the first annual Comics Studies Society conference and will present “‘Part of Something… Bigger’: Clark Kent, Peter Parker, and Kamala Khan” at the second annual conference. She writes for the Eisner-nominated, is working on an essay for Osvaldo Oyola’s The Middle Spaces, and tweets @AdrienneResha. Since May of 2018, Adrienne has served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Graduate Student Caucus.


open, no pre-registration required

Thursday July 25th 10:00-11:15am
Sponsored by the Graduate Students Caucus
Facilitator: Leah Misemer (Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow)

As increased attention to forms such as live-drawing, sketchnotes, and doodling in a wide range of disciplines and contexts demonstrates, visualization can be a powerful tool for thinking through ideas and representing them to others. Inspired by Lynda Barry’s philosophy that everyone can and should draw, the comics-based visual inquiry of this workshop has participants use drawing to consider the broader impacts of their research. In the workshop, students draw their research, explain their work to one another using those drawings, and then use each others' drawings as visuals to explain each others' work. In addition to helping participants communicate about their work to a broader audience in a way that can be useful for a variety of genres including grant applications, job documents, and interviews, the workshop builds community through conversations about research visualized in handmade comics.

Stacks Image 85
Leah Misemer is a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow at Georgia Institute of Technology where comics inform her multimodal approach to teaching writing for students at all levels. A former student of cartoonist Lynda Barry, she has had first year students make and exhibit comics about urban development issues, led undergraduate researchers to create comics educating refugees about mental health, and convinced STEM graduate students that drawing can be a good mode for thinking through ideas. Her comic published in the Sequentials special issue on “Queer as Noun, Adjective, and Verb,” demonstrates her own use of comics for scholarly inquiry.