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Dissertation Committee Cartoon

Executive Committee

Committee Members:
  • ICAF Chair:Qiana Whitted (University of South Carolina)
  • Academic Director: Brittany Tullis (St. Ambrose University)
  • Fundraising Coordinator: Andrea Gilroy (University of Oregon)
  • Program Director: Frank Bramlett (University of Nebraska, Omaha)
  • Promotions Coordinator: Osvaldo Oyola (New York University)
  • Secretary: Elizabeth Nijdam (University of Michigan)
  • Treasurer: Arturo Meijide Lapido (St. Ambrose University)
  • Members-at-large:
    • Josh Kopin (University of Texas)
    • Brannon Costello (Louisiana State University)​


Frank Bramlett is a professor in the English Department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. As a linguist, he specializes in discourse and conversation, sociolinguistics, and teaching English to speakers of other languages, and has taught as a visiting professor at both Stockholm University and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua—León. He first attended ICAF in Washington, DC, in 2007, where he presented on Zimmerman and Severin’s Rawhide Kid: Slap Leather.  Since then, he has continued to present and publish in comics studies. He is the editor of Linguistics and the Study of Comics (Palgrave 2012), a co-editor of a special issue ofImageTexT (2015) on the works of Grant Morrison, and co-editor of the Routledge Companion to Comics (2016).  Frank’s current research examines the sociocultural production of the quotidian in comics as well as the discourse characteristics of web comics. 

Brannon Costello is Associate Professor of English at Louisiana State University, where he teaches and writes about comics and the U.S. South. He is most recently the author of Neon Visions: The Comics of Howard Chaykin (LSU Press, 2017), and his other books include Plantation Airs: Racial Paternalism and the Transformations of Class in Southern Fiction, 1945-1971 (LSU Press, 2007) and the edited volumes Howard Chaykin: Conversations (UP of Mississippi, 2011), Conversations with Michael Chabon (UP of Mississippi, 2015), and, with co-editor Qiana Whitted, Comics and the U.S South (UP of Mississippi, 2012). He has served in the ICAF executive committee since 2013, including two cycles as Program Director. 

Andréa Gilroy is the 2016-2017 Interim Director of Comics and Cartoon Studies at the University of Oregon, where she is also an instructor for the Departments of English and Comparative Literature. She earned her PhD in 2015 from the University of Oregon Department of Comparative Literature. Her dissertation, “Origin Stories: Narrative, Identity, and the Comics Form,” argues that, due to its formal negotiation of word and image, the comics form is uniquely suited to address the representation of identity—especially as it pertains to race, gender and sexuality. Portions of the fourth chapter have been published as by ImageTexT under the title “The Epistemology of the Phone Booth: Queer Theory and the Superheroic Identity in Batwoman: Elegy.”

Arturo Meijide Lapido is Assistant Professor of Spanish at St. Ambrose University.  His research deals with Spanish films, comics, and popular culture, with an emphasis on texts that engage with conceptions of Galician culture and identity.  Arturo’s recent work has revolved primarily around Galician author Miguelanxo Prando, and his representation of Atlanticism.  His other primary research area is the presentation of violence in Spanish popular culture.  Arturo’s work in this area has been published in venues such as Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos and Procedings of the Cine-Lit Conference.

Elizabeth (Biz) Nijdam is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her research focuses on German-speaking comics, but she has also published and presented on using comics in the classroom. Biz's dissertation project traces East German artistic traditions into post-unification German-speaking comics through the artistic production of three comics collectives that emerged in the 1990s, PGH Glühende Zukunft, Renate, and monogatari. Biz has written on the work of German comics artist Anke Feuchtenberger for the International Journal of Comic Art and World Literature Today and has an essay on using comics to teach German history in Matthew Miller’s edited volume Class, Please Open Your Comics.

Osvaldo Oyola is currently a lecturer in the New York University Expository Writing Program and maintains The Middle Spaces blog, which interrogates race, gender and other forms of identity in comic books and popular music. He has been published in the Journal of Comics & Culture, Stone Canoe, and was a regular contributor to Sounding Out!, a peer-reviewed online publication on sound studies. His dissertation “(Re)Collecting Identity: Popular Culture and Narratives of Authentic Self in Transnational American Literature” explores how popular culture and collection practices are put to use as framework for positioning identity in a transnational American literary context, including memoir, comics and literary fiction. 

Brittany Tullis is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Women and Gender Studies at St. Ambrose University. Her work, which revolves around Transamerican comics and cultural studies, appears in Hispanic Issues On Line, the International Journal of Comic Art, and the forthcoming collection Comics Studies: Here and Now. She is co-editor of Picturing Childhood: Youth in Transnational Comics (2018, with Mark Heimermann), and is currently working on a book that explores feminist representations of women and girls in Latin/x American comics.

Qiana J. Whitted is Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina. She earned her Ph.D from Yale University. She is co-editor of the collection, Comics and the U.S. South (University Press of Mississippi, 2012) and the author of "A God of Justice?": The Problem of Evil in Twentieth-Century Black Literature (University of Virginia Press, 2009). Her current research interests focus on EC Comics and the intersections of race, cultural history, and censorship in 1950s comics.

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