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Notes on Contributors

Charles Acheson

Charles Acheson is a Ph.D. student in the Department of English at the University of Florida. He recently published “Expanding the Role of the Gutter in Nonfiction Comics: Forged Memories in Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Goražde” in Studies in the Novel (47.3). His research interests include comics studies, trauma studies, and 20/21st Century American literature.

Donna Axel

Donna Axel teaches Introduction to Humanities for Engineers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, School of Engineering and Applied Science. Ms. Axel obtained her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1991 and her J.D. from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law where she studied under Rhonda Copelon in the International Women’s Human Rights Law Clinic (IWHR). This led her to work for the Coalition for an International Criminal Court (CICC) from August 1996-August 1997, reporting to its members on the ICC’s creation process and fostering broad-based membership. As a result of those efforts, she worked with international women’s rights advocates to co-found the Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice in the ICC and serve as its Legal Text Coordinator. After the Rome Treaty Conference to create this court, Ms. Axel worked as a legal research and writing consultant for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, as well as for the Center for Reproductive Rights (formerly CRLP). In addition to working in the United Nations arena, in 1997 Ms. Axel began teaching undergraduates at The New School, and then became Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department and Pre-Law Advisor at New Jersey City University. Ms. Axel now teaches in the Herbst Program of Humanities in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In addition to co-founding J-SUP, Ms. Axel also co-founded the Sustainable Israeli-Palestinian Projects (SIPP). She has published in several areas, such as the International Criminal Court, teaching law to undergraduates, and drug courts.

Janis Breckenridge

Janis Breckenridge (Ph.D. University of Chicago) is an Associate Professor of Spanish at Whitman College specializing in socially committed narrative and visual cultures of Latin America and Spain. Her scholarship on Hispanic comics, which has appeared in International Journal of Comic ArtChasquiConfluencia, and Ergocomics, covers such diverse topics as Argentine feminism, the Spanish Civil War, childhood recollections of Pinochet’s Chile, Alzheimer’s, homelessness, addiction, and traumatic memory. Janis has also published numerous articles on testimonio aesthetics in literature, film, photography, and public monuments, particularly in response to Argentina’s last military dictatorship; this work culminated with publication of the edited volume Pushing the Boundaries of Latin American Testimony: Meta-Morphoses and Migrations (2012, co-edited with Louise Detwiler).

Sarah Briest

Sarah Briest completed her PhD on ritual and emblematic strategies in the early modern Lord Mayor’s Show in 2016 at Bochum University, Germany, where she is a researcher and teacher. Her interests include early modern English literature and culture, especially emblem books and civic culture, as well as allegory, personification, and matters of gender. She has written theater reviews for the German Shakespeare Society and published scholarly articles in Connotations: A Journal for Critical Debate and Shakespeare Seminar Online.

Leila Estes

Leila Estes graduated with a BA from Wesleyan University and received a MA in Cinema Studies from New York University. She is currently a Film and Media Studies PhD candidate and instructor at the University of Florida. Her dissertation focuses on Post-WWII films where African-American characters are “passing” as white.

Michael Hale

Michael Ryan Hale earned his Bachelors and Masters in English from the University of Texas at Tyler. He has written for the Comicosity website through the “Comics Classroom” column. He is an EGTA with the UT Arlington. His interests include Japanese manga, US comics, giant robots, and Romance literature.

Sarah Harris

A scholar of narratives of trauma, testimony, and memory in contemporary Spanish fiction, with additional research interests including sequential art, twentieth and twenty-first century Peninsular film, collective memory, literature of migration, monstrosity, autobiography and memoir, and gender and identity studies, Dr. Sarah D. Harris is on the Spanish faculty at Vermont’s Bennington College.

Adnan Mahmutovic

Adnan Mahmutovic is a lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing at Stockholm University. His work includes Ways of Being Free (Rodopi 2012), Thinner than a Hair (Cinnamon Press 2010), and How to Fare Well and Stay Fair (Salt Publishing 2012). He has co-edited (with Ursini and Bramlett): Visions of the Future in Comics: International Perspectives (McFarland Press 2018) and Which Side Are You On: Worlds of Grant Morrison a special issue of ImageTexT (2015).

Christopher Maverick

Christopher “Mav” Maverick holds a BA in Creative Writing and Literary and Cultural Studies and a MA in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D in English from Duquesne University. His field is 20th Century American Literature with an emphasis on Pop Culture. His research generally focuses on representations of gender, race and class in comics, television, movies and professional wrestling. As an avid believer in active participant observation, he has written the web comic Cosmic Hellcats since 2008, and from 2003 until 2010 he competed as a professional wrestler… no really!

Liam Nolan

Liam Nolan holds an MA in English, with specializations in comics and trauma, from the University of Calgary. His thesis work was on Art Spiegelman, intertextuality, and trauma. Liam currently teaches English in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. You can find him on Twitter @LiamDNolan.

Denise Ask Nunes

Denise Ask Nunes received her MA in English literature from Stockholm University. Her research focuses on ecocriticism, animal studies, new materialism and object oriented ontology.

Christopher Pizzino

Christopher Pizzino is Associate Professor of Contemporary American Literature at the University of Georgia, where he teaches comics, image theory, science fiction, theory of the novel, and contemporary fiction, film and television. His book Arresting Development: Comics at the Boundaries of Literature appeared in 2016 from the University of Texas Press. His scholarship has appeared in PMLAImageTexT, and Postmodern Culture, among other venues.

Aaron Ricker

Aaron Ricker is a Course Lecturer at McGill University. His education is in Religious Studies, but he often tells strangers that he’s in Classics, to avoid long conversations (at least they feel long) about whether or not “all religions are really saying the same thing.” His dissertation is on Romans 13, but he reads, presents, and writes about comics all the time. Don’t tell his supervisors. They don’t know.

Derek Parker Royal

Derek Parker Royal is professor in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at the University of Texas at Dallas, and also the general editor of Bloomsbury Academic’s new “Bloomsbury Comics Studies Series.” His books include Philip Roth: New Perspectives on an American Author (2005), Unfinalized Moments: Essays in the Development of Contemporary Jewish American Narrative (2011), and Visualizing Jewish Narrative: Essays on Jewish Comics and Graphic Novels (2016), and his essays on comics, American literature, and film have appeared in a variety of journals and edited collections. He is the founder and former executive editor of Philip Roth Studies, and he has guest edited eight different special issues of scholarly journals, covering topics such as contemporary Jewish narrative, multi-ethnic comics, the Hernandez brothers, superheroes and gender, comics and world politics, Woody Allen’s post-1990 films. His books Coloring America: Multi-Ethnic Engagements in Recent Comics and The Hernandez Brothers: Conversations are forthcoming from the University Press of Mississippi. He is also the cohost and co-creator of the popular podcast, The Comics Alternative, which can be found at

Roberta Spivak

Roberta Spivak serves as Managing Editor of the journal, Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations published in cooperation with the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) and Lynne Rienner Publishers. She received an MA in comparative politics of the Middle East from Columbia University. While in graduate school, she worked on issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the Political Affairs Department at the United Nations. Roberta has spent the last few years wriiting on the gaps in law and state capacity that have allowed piracy to re-emerge in the 21st century. The book she co-authored, Maritime Piracy (Routledge 2012), serves as a primer for those interested in a concise, yet comprehensive, look at this ancient (and modern) practice.

Jenna Stanley

Jenna Stanley (BA in Spanish with Honors, Whitman College), wrote her senior thesis on four visual works that grapple with issues surrounding la frontera, particularly between the U.S. and Mexico and between Spain and North Africa. After working closely with Janis Breckenridge analyzing visual cultural production–particularly photography, film and comics related to trauma, war, and immigration–Jenna presented their collaborative research at the LALISA conference in Portland, Oregon. Jenna currently serves as an auxiliar in Madrid, acting as a language and cultural assistant at a bilingual high school.

Birte Wege

Birte Wege is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the John F. Kennedy Institute at the Freie Universität Berlin. She completed her PhD at the Graduate School of North American Studies (Freie Universität Berlin) in 2015. Her dissertation is titled “Drawing on the Past: The Graphic Narrative Documentaries of Emmanuel Guibert, Ho Che Anderson, Art Spiegelman, and Joe Sacco.”

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