Wednesday, June 9, 2021

University of Iowa Professor Deborah Whaley has co-authored a new book about the field of comics studies.

Deborah Whaley

Released June 8 by NYU Press, Keywords for Comics Studies introduces key terms, research traditions, debates and histories, and offers a sense of new frontiers emerging in the comics studies field.

The book of more than 50 essays provides an interdisciplinary vocabulary for comics and sequential art, as well as identifies new avenues of research into one of the most popular and diverse visual media of the 20th and 21st  centuries.

Keywords for Comics Studies presents analyses of terms central to the study of comics and sequential art that are traditionally found only in distinct lexicons: these include creative and aesthetic terms like ink, creator, border, and panel; conceptual terms such as trans*, disability, universe, and fantasy; genre terms like zine, pornography, superhero, and manga; and canonical terms like X-Men, Archie, Watchmen, and Love and Rockets.

Keywords for Comics Studies

The book ties each specific comic studies keyword to the larger context of the term within the humanities. Essays demonstrate how scholars, cultural critics, and comics artists from a range of fields take up sequential art as both an object of analysis and a medium for developing new theories about embodiment, identity, literacy, audience reception, genre, cultural politics, and more.

Whaley is a professor of English and African American Studies at Iowa.

Other co-authors are Ramzi Fawaz, associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Shelley Streeby, professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies and Literature at the University of California-San Diego.