After an interval this summer and a couple of postponements due to scheduling conflicts, the Comics Studies Reading Group started back up in November with a discussion of Diary of a Teenage Girl by Phoebe Gloeckner.Our conversation was pretty wide-ranging, but touched on issues of teenage sexuality, sexual abuse, diaries & confessional writing, the interplay between text and image, memory and authorial voice, teaching difficult subject matter, and creating comics.
Though no one in the group has taught this particular text, we discussed some of the ways we might approach this or similar kinds of narratives, especially with students who aren’t too far removed from their own teenage years. We generally agreed that “trigger warnings” aren’t an adequate response to the challenges of teaching difficult, but necessary subject matter, but deciding how to approach such material depends a great deal on the context of particular classrooms, audiences, and pedagogical approaches. We’d welcome thoughts or ideas on any of these topics in the comments below.
For those who are interested, the book is still on 3-day reserve at the Willis Library, though it will be returned to the general collection at the end of this semester. UNT faculty and students can also stream the film version.
Our next meeting will be on a Wednesday, December 18, from 4-5:30 p.m., at Miss Angeline’s House of Fine Taste. Hopefully, this will allow some of those who can’t usually make it on weekends to join us.
The text we’ve chosen for that meeting is Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe. There is a copy available on 3-day reserve at the Willis Library, under “Comics Studies Reading Group”.
Other topics we discussed at the last meeting were the possibility of organizing a comics panel for the Spring UNT Postwar Faculty Colloquium, and possibly contributing to an Open Access book on “teaching comics”. If you’re interested in either of these, please come to our next reading group meeting, or drop a note to: firstname.lastname@example.org.