Guest Writers

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While The Middle Spaces has only had  a handful of guest/co-written posts, we hope to use the blog as a platform for more writers looking to explore comics, music or other forms of popular culture.  Please consult our Submission Guidelines, if you think you might be interested in contributing.

Jennifer DeRoss

Jennifer DeRoss is an Instructional Specialist, mother of two boys, and all around geek. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Master’s in English and a focus on Comic Studies. She has forthcoming pieces on Swamp Thing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Wonder Woman, and Orphan Black. She is currently working on a biography of Gardner Fox for Pulp Hero Press and writing reviews for Comic Crusaders. Follow her on Twitter at @JenniferDeRoss.

Eric Gershik

Eric G. is a native New Yorker who earned a BA in History from Brooklyn College. A passionate vegan who ran his restaurant Foodswings until it closed in 2014, he is seeking a suitable focus for the next chapter of his life. After about a 30-year gap in reading comics, he is again reading recent comics recommended by friends with a mix of great pleasure and concern. Eric also serves as The Middle Spaces’ copy editor.

Grace D. Gipson

Grace D. Gipson is a Visiting Lecturer in African American Studies at Georgia State University and a doctoral candidate in the African American Studies program with a designated emphasis in New Media at the University of California Berkeley. Graces area of research interest centers on Black popular culture, digital humanities, representations of race and gender within comic books and graphic novels, and Afrofuturism. Her current dissertation project interrogates the formation of a Black female superhero identity within comics and graphic novels through African queer love, disability as empowerment, coloring utopias/dystopias, promoting Black Girl Magic in STEM, and creating a new media legacy for Black female voices. Graces work has been featured in various publications such as Huffington Post, NPR.org, and Black Perspectives. Outside of the classroom, you can find Grace as one-fourth of the #BlackComicsChat twitter podcast crew and a contributor for the website Black Girl Nerds.

Sean Guynes-Vishniac

Sean Guynes-Vishniac is a PhD candidate in English at Michigan State University. He is editor of Punking Science Fiction (a special issue of Deletion, May 2018), co-editor of Unstable Masks: Whiteness and American Superhero Comics (Ohio State UP, forthcoming) and Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling (Amsterdam UP, 2017), editor of The SFRA Review, and book reviews editor of Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction. He can be found online at www.seanguynes.com or on Twitter @guynesvishniac.

Alejandro Jimenez

Alejandro Jimenez is an engineer currently living and working in Connecticut. He graduated from Yale University in 2014 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. His childhood love of Dragon Ball Z grew into an adult love of comics and manga. He tries to tweet @ashejandro.

Robert Jones, Jr.

Robert Jones, Jr. is a writer from Brooklyn, N.Y. He earned both his B.F.A. in creative writing and M.F.A. in fiction from Brooklyn College. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Gawker, The Grio, and the Feminist Wire. He is the creator of the social justice social media community, Son of Baldwin, which can be found on Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, Medium, Tumblr, and Twitter. His first novel is in the revision stage and he’s currently working on the second.

Francesca Lyn

Francesca Lyn is currently a doctoral candidate in Media, Art & Text at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Her dissertation Graphic Intimacies: Identity, Humor, and Trauma in Autobiographical Comics by Women of Colorexamines autobiographical comics created by women of color. She is interested in how autobiographical comics offer a new framework for exploring transgenerational trauma through the complex and intersecting themes of race and gender. She created and teaches the interdisciplinary courses Gender, Race and Comicsand Gender in Comics.” In these courses students learn how to do comics research with special emphasis on utilizing VCUs Comic Arts Collection. In her free time she enjoys performing stand-up comedy and creating her own comics.

Orion Martin

Orion Martin is a writer and Chinese translator based in Brooklyn, New York. He writes about comics, art, and the ways that new understandings of comics can make them more meaningful to our lives. His work has been featured on Hyperallergic, The Comics Journal, and The Hooded Utilitarian. You can find him at comics.rorionmartin.com.

Nicholas E. Miller

Nicholas E. Miller (@uncannydazzler) is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Hollins University, where he teaches multicultural American literature, gender and sexuality studies, and comics studies. His essay, “Asexuality and Its Discontents: Making the ‘Invisible Orientation’ Visible in Comics,” was recently published in Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society, and he has a new essay, “Transmedial Feminisms from Archie to Riverdale” that is forthcoming in Feminist Media Histories.

Ashanti Mills

Ashanti Mills received his B.A. in English from Howard University in 2015, and currently lives right outside of Washington, D.C. His research interests include trauma, music theory, semiotics, and genre. He tweets @DakotaCityRag.

Nicole Pizarro

Nicole Pizarro is a PhD student in The Ohio State University’s English department. Her scholarship focuses on the ways narrative is influenced by film adaptations as mediums of entertainment and cultural conversation. She is a graduate teaching associate teaching in the subjects of masculinity studies, adaptation, popular culture and rhetoric. Currently, she is working on an article about how black female bodies are mediated in film adaptations of African American historical figures. She is originally from Luquillo, Puerto Rico.

Joshua Plencner

Joshua Plencner is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Union College. His research explores the intersection of American visual culture and the politics of identity, with specializations in the study of racial formation in popular culture, affect theory, comics studies, and American Political Development. His recent scholarly and popular essays have been featured in New Political Science, Black Perspectives, Encyclopedia of Black Comics, and Artists Against Police Brutality. He has contributed two guest posts on The Middle Spaces.

Mike Plugh

Mike Plugh is a lecturer in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University. He serves on the Board of Directors of the New York State Communication Association and the Media Ecology Association. His research interests include technology and sociocultural change, education, community, and collective identity. You can find him at his eponymous blog, or on Twitter @mikeplugh. Mike believes that teachers teach and do the world good, while kings just rule and most are never understood…

Jeanette Roan

Jeanette Roan is an Associate Professor in the Visual Studies Program and the Graduate Program in Visual and Critical Studies at California College of the Arts. She is the author of Envisioning Asia: On Location, Travel, and the Cinematic Geography of U.S. Orientalism (University of Michigan Press, 2010).  Her most recent publication is “Tasting is Knowing: The Aesthetics and Politics of Disgust in John Layman’s and Rob Guillory’s Chew in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics.

Charles A. Stephens, Jr.

Charles A. Stephens Jr. attends Texas A&M University-Commerce, where he’s finishing up his doctoral work in literature, with a focus on film and graphic narrative, while teaching argument and rhetoric to impressionable freshmen. His dissertation analyzes the British Wave of comic book creators, led by Alan Moore, and their influence on American comics, via literary historical analysis of the title Hellblazer and the character, John Constantine. A diehard Grant Morrison fan and devotee of the Brit Wave, he loves almost all genres of music, beef jerky, metafiction, and bad cheerleader/dance movies. He is accompanied almost everywhere by his sidekick Flash the beagle. Check out more of his musings (and nag him to write more!) at http://cstephensjr.tumblr.com/.

Paul Thomas

P. L. Thomas, Associate Professor of Education (Furman University), taught high school English in South Carolina before moving to teacher education. He is currently a column editor for English Journal (National Council of Teachers of English) and author of Beware the Roadbuilders (Garn Press). Follow his work at http://radicalscholarship.wordpress.com/ or @plthomasEdD on Twitter.

Maite Urcaregui

Maite Urcaregui studies twentieth century American culture and literature through a transdisciplinary perspective that draws from cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, and critical race studies. Her research explores the relationship among form, aesthetics, and agency as well as the possibilities for activism and resistance within popular culture, specifically within genre fiction, zines, and comics. Here most recent research has investigated intersectional feminism in Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro’s Bitch Planet and it’s fan community.

Rebecca Wanzo

Rebecca Wanzo is associate professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and associate director of the Center for the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis. She is the author of The Suffering Will Not Be Televised: African American Women and Sentimental Political Storytelling (2009) and numerous essays on comics, feminist media studies, and African American literature and culture. This blog is excerpted from her book manuscript, The Content of Our Caricature: African American Citizenship and Graphic Storytelling, under contract with New York University Press.

Qiana Whitted

Qiana Whitted is Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina. Her publications include the edited collection, Comics and the U.S. South (Mississippi, 2012) and essays that explore race, genre, and comics in representations of historical figures such as Nat Turner, Stagger Lee, and Emmett Till. She is an Associate Editor of INKS: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society and Chair of the International Comic Arts Forum. Her forthcoming book on race and social protest in 1950s EC comics will be published by Rutgers University Press in early 2019. She can be found on Twitter @QianaWhitted and on the web at qianawhitted.com.

Rachel Marie-Crane Williams

Rachel Marie-Crane Williams earned an M.F.A in Studio Art and a Ph.D. in Art Education from Florida State University. She is an Associate Professor at The University of Iowa in the Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) Department and in the School of Art and Art History. Currently she is the Department Executive Officer of GWSS. Her scholarship related to incarcerated women, comics, qualitative research, and visual art has been published in the Journal of Arts Law and Management, Visual Arts Research, Studies in Art Education, Southern Cultures, the International Journal of Comics Art, the Journal of Art Education, and the Journal of Poetry Therapy. She has received funding for her work in the arts and humanities from the National Art Education Association, the Roy J. Carver Foundation, the Iowa Arts Council, The Hull House Museum in Chicago, The National Czech and Slovak Museum, and Humanities Iowa.

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