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Two LAVC Professors Featured as Speakers at San Diego Comic-Con International 2016

This year's Comic-Con International: San Diego featured presentations by two LAVC professors at its "Teaching the Humanities Through Comics" panel. Professor Deanna Heikkinen spoke on teaching a humanities course that examined 20th Century America through superhero comics, and Professor Michelle Lewis discussed using a graphic novel to teach a college history course.

Two LAVC Professors Featured as Speakers at San Diego Comic-Con International 2016

Comic Con International 2016 featured two LAVC professors, Deanna Heikkinen and Michelle Lewis, who spoke at its "Teaching the Humanities through Comics" panel on July 24 in San Diego.

The "Teaching the Humanities through Comics" panel presentation, which was part of Comic-Con's Comic Arts Conference for teachers and other Comic Con participants who are interested in the changing views and uses of comics in American society, shared strategies and lessons learned by integrating comics and graphic novels into undergraduate course curriculum. 

Deanna Heikkinen, associate professor of Humanities at LAVC, discussed the lessons that she learned from using superhero comics to teach a special topics humanities course on 20th-century America at Los Angeles Valley College. Her presentation titled "Holy Humanities Batman! Teaching 20th Century America through Superhero Comics" highlighted how the rise and fall and rise again of superhero comics in the 20th century could be seen as a pop reflection of the changing attitudes in American culture. She talked about the study of superheroes as modern mythology through characters that rose to the stature of permanent iconography, or when characters became instant sensations only to disappear into irrelevance, or for those character who failed to catch on at all serve to help us understand the concerns of multiple generations of Americans.

Michelle Lewis, associate professor of History at LAVC, explained how she integrated Mendoza the Jew: Boxing, Manliness, and Nationalism, A Graphic History into the Western Civilization curriculum in her presentation titled "History Gets Graphic: Using a Graphic Novel to Teach Course Content in the College History Classroom". Through integrating the graphic novel into the Western Civilization curriculum, students learned historiographical techniques including critical reading of sources, historical context, and micro vs. macro history. Topics ranging from nationalism, ethnic identity, gender roles, and the rise of spectator sports in eighteenth century England were explored in the course through the reading of Mendoza. 

In addition, Adam Golub of CSU Fullerton discussed strategies for teaching comics as literature in the university classroom. 

Comic-Con International: San Diego, which is the largest comic convention in the country, comprised of four days with events around San Diego. The Comic Arts Conference, which was founded in 1992 and has partnered with Comic-Con International since 1998, brings together comics scholars, practitioners, critics, and historians for the dynamic process of evolving an aesthetic and a criticism of the comics art form. The conference includes involvement from a broad range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives, and includes the participation of academic and independent scholars.


Posted by: LAVC PR Office on 7/27/2016 5:00:13 PM