TX – Comics Studies Conference

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Press Release:

SUPERSCHOLARS ASSEMBLE!! It’s that time of year once again for UNT’s Comics Studies Conference!

The University of North Texas Center for Interdisciplinarity invites paper submissions to the 2014 UNT Comics Studies Conference to be held March 1, 2014 in Denton, TX from 10am-6pm. Debuting in 2011, the UNT Comics Studies Conference focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to graphic narrative or sequential arts and welcomes competitive paper submissions to participate in panel discussions and roundtable sessions exploring the critical and educational applications of comics or graphic novels. Held in conjunction with the UNT GeeKon week (full schedule here), this year’s keynote speaker is KATE LETH, webcomic creator of fan-favorite KATE OR DIE! and writer for Adventure Time, whose 4pm talk is on “The Geek Grrrl’s Guide to Making Your Own Webcomics!”

There has been an explosion of interest in using graphic novels and sequential art for innovative educational programs as a proven resource for motivating reluctant readers, engaging multiple learning styles, and developing multi-media critical literacy. There are now hundreds of college and university courses worldwide, and a skyrocketing number of K-12 classrooms, which integrate Comics Studies in their curriculum. This conference is interested in broadly surveying the diverse disciplinary approaches to studying or using comics as a resource for education, criticism, or critical engagement with relevant social issues. Conference themes addressed in panels and conference roundtable sessions include Teaching Comics across the College Curriculum, Analyzing Comics and Culture, Exploring Comics in Communities, and Integrating Comics into the Classroom. Highlighting diverse interdisciplinary perspectives for using comics or graphic novels in teaching and research or entrepreneurship, panels explore the community connections and pedagogical value of bringing comics into student-centered learning environments! Also featured are local creators, comics resources, and opportunities to hobnob with featured speakers! UNT’s Willis Library is hosting a free special event screening of the award-winning documentary “WONDER WOMEN: The Untold Story of American Superheroines” from 5-6pm in The Forum.

Papers and panel submissions are due by February 6th with Top Paper awards for student submissions and competitive academic essays!

KATE LETH is the Canadian creator of KATE OR DIE!, an eclectic webcomic about the comic book industry, sexuality and queer superheroes, cute cats, comics fandom, and her adventures in self-publishing. Wowing fans since 2010, Kate has since gone on to become a renowned talent for comics podcasts, invited commentaries, and culture webcritic for COMICS BULLETIN and COMICS ALLIANCE as well as a convention fan-favorite. She is also founder of The Valkyries, an online networking group for women in comics retail. Leth’s work has been featured in numerous high-profile industry projects including Womanthology, Adventure Time, Bravest Warriors, Locke & Key, Danni Danger, The Legend of Luthor Strode, and most recently as writer of the Adventure Time graphic novel Seeing Red. In her secret identity as a Nova Scotia comic shop salesclerk, Kate collects warrior princess-themed art, has seen every episode of Buffy at least 4x sipping spiced rum, and purportedly has a cool tattoo of Kate Beaton’s Wonder Woman (among others). Leth is best known as a fierce advocate for female creators, LGBTQ issues, indie comix, Spider-Man/Deadpool slashfic, Twitterbrawls, and fewer jerks in the world who insist ‘comics are for boys’ only. Kate is a true geek culture treasure!

Presentations will be held in the Business Leadership Building on the lovely UNT campus. There will be a 7pm reception and signing event at More Fun Comics and Games on the downtown Denton Square, with exclusive offers, swag, and merchandise.