From a modest beginning of a handful of guest posts, The Middle Spaces has grown to include a number of voices both new and established, both those of academics and fans, but all with a scholarly and rigorous approach. The hope here at The Middle Spaces is that the blog will continue to grow 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 – and/or consider contributing to our Patreon to help pay writers an honorarium.
José Alaniz, professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of Comparative Literature (adjunct) at the University of Washington – Seattle, authored Komiks: Comic Art in Russia in 2010 and Death, Disability and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond in 2014 it (both published by the University Press of Mississippi). He chaired the Executive Committee of the International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF) from 2011 to 2017. His research interests include Cinema Studies, Death and Dying, Disability Studies, Critical Animal Studies and Comics Studies. Current book projects include Resurrection: Comics in Post-Soviet Russia and Beautiful Monsters: Disability in Alternative Comics.
Tiffany Babb is a poet, essayist, and comics obsessive. She has an MA in American Studies from Columbia University and is currently working towards an MFA in Creative Writing at The New School. She is particularly interested in writing about genre, story structure, and seriality. You can find out more about her work at www.tiffanybabb.com and follow her on Twitter @explodingarrow.
Jeremy M. Carnes
Jeremy M. Carnes is a settler scholar and Ph.D. Candidate in the English Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His research explores the various ways comics depict temporality. Using both queer theory and critical indigenous theory, he argues that comics form carries radical possibilities for the
queering and decolonization of both time and history.
Kay K. Clopton
Dr. Kay K. Clopton works as a Mary P. Key Resident: Cultural Diversity Inquiry at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, an appointment she will hold until the end of 2020. She completed her doctorate in the Spring of 2018, studying sound effects in Japanese manga and North American Comics.
Rikke Platz Cortsen
Rikke Platz Cortsen, PhD, is a Danish lecturer at University of Texas, Austin where she teaches Danish language and culture. She researches space and place in comics in the Nordic countries. Her latest peer reviewed publication (done as comics) is ““Aesthetics of Black Metal in Nordic Comics” in Danish Musicology Online vol.8 2016-2017.
Brian Cremins is an Associate Professor of English at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. He is the author of Captain Marvel and the Art of Nostalgia (2016, now available in paperback from the University Press of Mississippi). With Brannon Costello, he is the co-editor of The Other 1980s: Reframing Comics’ Crucial Decade, forthcoming from Louisiana State University Press. You can read his blog at http://brianwcremins.wordpress.com/. (You can also read an interview with Brian Cremins as part of the (re)Collection Agency series here).
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.
Bettina Egger is a graphic novelist and a researcher. She studied Fine Arts, Russian and French literature in France and Austria. She obtained her master’s degree in Fine Arts at the Université Rennes II (France) in 2016 and in 2018 obtained her doctoral degree at the University of Salzburg (Austria) with a practice-based thesis on the topic of comics and memory. She has published eight French language graphic novels. Bettina has a special interest in non-fiction and documentary forms, with works such as a travelogue on the Transsiberian Railway (Un voyage en Transsibérien, 2015) and an interview with Emmanuel Guibert (Entretien avec Emmanuel Guibert, 2018).
Keith Friedlander is an academic and communications instructor. He lives in Calgary, Alberta and teaches at Olds College. His research interests include comic book production cultures, gender politics in superhero comics, authorship theory, British Romanticism, and publics and counterpublics. His writing has appeared in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. He is currently the Secretary/Treasurer for the Canadian Society for the Study of Comics.
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.
- Days of Future Then: Reflections on X-Men Comics & “Days of Future Past” (Part One of Two)
- Days of Future Now: Reflections on X-Men Comics & “Days of Future Past” (Part Two of Two)
Torsa Ghosal is Assistant Professor of English at California State University, Sacramento. Her critical essays have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as Storyworlds, Poetics Today, Studies in the Novel and in anthologies such as Comics Studies Here and Now. She is the author of an experimental novel, Open Couplets (2017).
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. Grace’s 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. Grace’s 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 is a cultural historian, critic, and writer who lives in Ann Arbor, MI. He is co-author of the forthcoming book Whiteness (MIT Press), co-editor of the Encapsulations: Critical Comics Studies book series for University of Nebraska Press, two journal special issues, and several books—including Unstable Masks: Whiteness and American Superhero Comics (Ohio State University Press, 2020)—and editor of SFRA Review. His shorter writing has appeared in public and academic venues, including Los Angeles Review of Books, American Quarterly, World Literature Today, Utopian Studies, American Book Review, PopMatters, and Strange Horizons. He can be found online at www.seanguynes.com or on Twitter @saguynes.
- Colonial Hottie: Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman and Brand Israel
- Unstable Masks; Or, The Whiteness of the Superhero (a preview)
André Habet is a Ph.D. student at Syracuse University’s Composition and Cultural Rhetoric program. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in pursuing collaborative writing projects.
Evan Henry is a longtime pop culture journalist and current graduate student in English at the University of Virginia. He has contributed to a wide variety of outlets, including the Virginia Literary Review, Broken Frontier, Black Ship Books, and We Are the Mutants. Find him on Twitter @evanbhenry.
Yetta Howard is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University. Howard is the author of Ugly Differences: Queer Female Sexuality in the Underground (University of Illinois Press, 2018), editor of Rated RX: Sheree Rose with and after Bob Flanagan (under contract, Ohio State University Press), and is working on a new project, Erratic Erotics: The Sexual Politics of Discord. For more information, visit www.yettahoward.com.
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.
- Humanity Not Included: DC’s Cyborg and the Mechanization of the Black Body
- Bumbling: DC Super Hero Girls and the White Racial Imagination
- Hip Hop Levels Up: Sammus & Pieces in Space
Joshua Abraham Kopin
Joshua Abraham Kopin is a PhD candidate in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, writing a dissertation that frames comics as a nineteenth century technology of time and space. His work has appeared in American Literature and is forthcoming in INKS. He is a member-at-large on the executive committee for the International Comics Art Forum, the President of the Comics Studies Society Graduate Student Caucus, and is a recipient of the 2018-2019 Swann Fellowship at the Library of Congress.
- Seeing Sounds / Hearing Pictures – A Round Table on Sound & Comics (part one) (co-editor)
- Seeing Sounds / Hearing Pictures – A Round Table on Sound & Comics (part two) (co-editor)
- Seeing Sounds / Hearing Pictures – A Round Table on Sound & Comics (part three) (co-editor)
- Seeing Sounds / Hearing Pictures – A Round Table on Sound & Comics (part four) (co-editor)
A. David Lewis
Dr. A. David Lewis is a college educator and comics studies scholar, most recently co-editing Muslim Superheroes: Comics, Islam, and Representation with Martin Lund. He is also the co-editor of Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels as well as Digital Death: Mortality and Beyond in the Online Age. Dr. Lewis also serves on the board of NuDay Syria and has expanded his work to include the field of Graphic Medicine, specifically the representation of cancer in comics narratives.
Martin Lund is a comics scholar who specializes in studying the intersections of religions and comics, comics and identity, and comics and urban life. Recent and forthcoming publications includes Re-Constructing the Man of Steel: Superman 1938–1941, Jewish American History, and the Invention of the Jewish–Comics Connection (Palgrave 2016), Muslim Superheroes: Comics, Islam, and Representation (Harvard University Press/ILEX Foundation; co-edited with A. David Lewis); and Unstable Masks: Whiteness and the American Superhero (forthcoming from Ohio State University Press; co-edited with Sean Guynes). He is currently a senior lecturer in the history of religions at Malmö University in Sweden and desperately hoping to carve out some research time.
- Closing the Comics-Gate: On Recognizing the Politics of Comics
- Unstable Masks; Or, The Whiteness of the Superhero (a preview)
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 Color” examines 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 Comics” and “Gender in Comics.” In these courses students learn how to do comics research with special emphasis on utilizing VCU’s Comic Arts Collection. In her free time she enjoys performing stand-up comedy and creating her own comics. (You can also read an interview with Francesca Lyn as part of the (re)Collection Agency series here).
- Caged and Enraged: Bitch Planet Comics Studies Round Table (part one)
- Seeing Sounds / Hearing Pictures – A Round Table on Sound & Comics (part one)
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.
Nick Martinez is a doctoral candidate at Cardiff University in Wales (UK), with an interdisciplinary background in fine arts, audiovisual translation and international communication. His current research explores agency and censorship in the adaptation and translation of graphic narratives, and the links between comics and other media, such as film and photography. He is a founding member of the Comics Studies Society, and has contributed to the edited volume Comics Memory: Archives and Styles (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), and to the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (Routledge).
Nicholas E. Miller
Nicholas E. Miller (@uncannydazzler) is a regular writer for The Middle Spaces and Assistant Professor of English at Valdosta State University, where he teaches multicultural American literature, gender and a/sexuality studies, and comics studies. His essay, “Asexuality and Its Discontents: Making the ‘Invisible Orientation’ Visible in Comics,” has been published in Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society (2017) and his essay, “‘Now That It’s Just Us Girls’: Transmedial Feminisms from Archie to Riverdale,” has been published in Feminist Media Histories (2018).
- Bound By Law: Bitch Planet Comics Studies Round Table (part two)
- “Is There Anything Left to be Shattered?”: Reading Dazzler in the # Moment
- Seeing Sounds / Hearing Pictures – A Round Table on Sound & Comics (part three)
- On Exoskeletons and Assimilation: Revisiting the Latinidad of Marvel’s Araña
- “But We’re Out of Time”: Queer(ed) Nostalgia and The WB’s Birds of Prey
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 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 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.
- “Guns in the Valley” – a Review of Logan
- Caged and Enraged: Bitch Planet Comics Studies Round Table (part one)
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…
Morgan Podraza is a PhD student in the Department of English at The Ohio State University. Her research draws on comics studies and media history, with particular interest in the material relationships between comics and readers. She is also a “Comics Academe” contributor for Women Write About Comics and would love to review your books by/about women in comics. You can follow her on Twitter @MorganPodraza.
Barbara Postema is a Senior Lecturer in English at Massey University in New Zealand, where she teaches literary studies and popular fiction. She has contributed work on comics to Image and Narrative, the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, and the International Journal of Comic Art, as well as collections such as The Routledge Companion to Comics and Graphic Novels, and The Cambridge History of the Graphic Novel. In 2018, a Brazilian publisher put out a Portuguese translation of her monograph Narrative Structure in Comics. Barbara is currently working on a project on wordless comics, tracing their history, thematics, and the various ways in which they use of images to convey narrative.
Adrienne Resha is a Ph.D. student in the American Studies Program at the College of William & Mary. Her research interests include Arab and Muslim representation in American popular media, the superhero genre, and (new) media theory. She can be found online at her website, adrienneresha.com, or on Twitter @AdrienneResha.
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/.
Matthew Teutsch is currently a Fulbright Professor of American Literature at the University of Bergen. He is an instructor of English at Auburn University. He maintains Interminable Rambling, a blog about literature, composition, culture, and pedagogy, and is a regular contributor to Black Perspectives and Teaching United States History. His research focuses on African American and Southern literature, and he has published on the works of Ernest J. Gaines, Charles Chesnutt, Robert Beck, Jean Toomer, and others. His writing has appeared in various venues including LEAR, MELUS, Mississippi Quarterly, and Studies in the Literary Imagination. Currently, he is working on an edited collection of Georgia author Frank Yerby and on a monograph that examines the continued impact of Christopher Priest’s Black Panther run (1998-2003). Follow him on Twitter @SilasLapham.
- Kept in a Jar: Broomhilda and the Representation of Enslaved Women in Reginald Hudlin’s Django Unchained
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 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 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 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.
- Caged and Enraged: Bitch Planet Comics Studies Round Table (part one) (co-editor)
- Bound By Law: Bitch Planet Comics Studies Round Table (part two) (co-editor)
- Hard Women, Hard Time: Bitch Planet Comics Studies Round Table (part three) (co-editor)
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.