In the lead-up to the 2013 Brighton Comics & Medicine conference, to fill the gaping void that the Graphic Medicine podcast hiatus has left in your life, this week we introduce a series of posts meant to acquaint you with the folks behind the quickly approaching Graphic Medicine conference in Brighton.
WHO I AM: Susan Squier
WHAT I DO: Teach English and Women’s Studies at Penn State University, co-edit the Graphic Medicine book series at Penn State University Press with Ian Williams, and in 2014 I will be editing a special issue of CONFIGURATIONS, the journal of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, on “Graphic Medicine.” Submissions welcome. Finally, I’ve just signed on to join Jacalyn Duffin as Joint Green Visiting Professors at the University of British Columbia for a week in February 2014, where we’ll be discussing graphic medicine when we talk about “critical studies of health and medicine.” We’d be very happy to have any comics people come out for those events.
MY CONNECTION TO GRAPHIC MEDICINE: Got there via feminist theory, science studies, cultural studies of medicine, and the Medical Humanities. (Wrote about it first in my book Liminal Lives: Rethinking the Human at the Margins of Biomedicine, and am writing about it in the book I am working on now, Epigenetic Landscapes.) Also have written about comics in articles that have appeared in the Journal of Medical Humanities, Literature and Medicine, and Perspectives on Biology and Medicine. Last year I was on the jury for the Lynd Ward Prize for the Best Graphic Novel in North America.
HOW I USE GRAPHIC MEDICINE IN MY WORK: I teach graphic medicine courses to graduate students in English and Women’s Studies at Penn State University, and I find I’m writing about graphic medicine more and more.
PROJECTS I’M WORKING ON RIGHT NOW: Just gave a talk on sex education comics from the 1970s through 2013, including a discussion of Saiya Miller and Liza Bley’s “Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf” zine series, at the Mediating Public Spheres: Genealogies of Feminist Knowledge in the Digital Age conference of the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center. Saiya was a respondent (wonderfully) and her mother was in the audience: a terrific event! Twenty or so of us–aged 60’s to ‘teens–collaborated on creating a sex education comic that is now housed in the library at Hampshire College. It was tremendous fun. The conference talks will be Media Sited soon, but in the interim I have a very brief clip of Saiya Miller teaching a ‘zine workshop in which I participated:
PROJECTS BY OTHERS I’M EXCITED ABOUT RIGHT NOW: The forthcoming BOOK publication of Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf (the press is Soft Skull/Counterpoint Press) To be released August 13, 2013. There will be a book tour, coming to a city near you! (exact dates and locations TBA). Also excited about the fabulous comic Ian Williams is working on right now; and the book that I am co-writing with Ian, MK, Kimberly, Michael and Scott, The Graphic Medicine Manifesto.
WHAT I’LL BE PRESENTING ON IN BRIGHTON: Anders Nilsen’s BIG QUESTIONS as an epigenetic landscape.
A FEW THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO AT THE 2013 BRIGHTON COMICS & MEDICINE CONFERENCE: I can’t even say just a few things: the keynotes, seeing the great GM crowd, the tables of comics to peruse and even purchase, and the conversations!