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I'm applying for both MA and PhD programs in English in Fall 2017. I know a lot of universities say it's important that your interests fit with members of the faculty. I am primarily interested in comics/graphic novels, the relationship between literature and visual art, and feminist writing. I'm having some difficult finding university professors with similar interests (aside from women's literature, which seems pretty popular).

Does anyone know of any grad schools that offer specialization in comics and/or visual culture, or that have faculty interested in these topics? So far I've only come up with the University of Florida and the University of Colorado Boulder.

Thanks!

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Some programs might refer to this as "popular and public culture".

 

Some programs which are noted for this kind of work include:
Virginia Tech (I know a recent student there did a thesis on Superhero Comics)
MTSU
Carnegie Mellon
NYU (http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/mcc/doctoral/)* (This is not an English PHD)
UCSD
CUNY


 

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Our PhD track in comic studies here at Ohio State might be a decent option for you. In addition to housing the world's largest collection of comics and comic-related materials, Ohio State has a wide-reaching popular culture collective, which includes professors and students from five or six different departments but is primarily based in the English department. You can learn more by visiting https://popularculturestudies.osu.edu/.

Edited by Ramus
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50 minutes ago, Ramus said:

Our PhD track in comic studies here at Ohio State might be a decent option for you. In addition to housing the world's largest collection of comics and comic-related materials, Ohio State has a wide-reaching popular culture collective, which includes professors and students from five or six different departments but is primarily based in the English department. You can learn more by visiting https://popularculturestudies.osu.edu/.

 

Ohio is pretty good in general. Bowling Green State has a dedicated popular culture MA, and they also have (I believe), the third largest collection of comics in the US.

Given @Ramus's suggestion, Ohio might be a good place to be.

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UC-Davis has a couple people working in visual culture, and one of them (Matthew Stratton) offered a grad seminar in comics last year. I wouldn't say it's a huge focus of our department, but we're friendly to it. UW-Madison has Ramzi Fawaz, who's super rad.

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On 10/23/2016 at 7:33 AM, mouthfulofstars said:

I'm applying for both MA and PhD programs in English in Fall 2017. I know a lot of universities say it's important that your interests fit with members of the faculty. I am primarily interested in comics/graphic novels, the relationship between literature and visual art, and feminist writing. I'm having some difficult finding university professors with similar interests (aside from women's literature, which seems pretty popular).

Does anyone know of any grad schools that offer specialization in comics and/or visual culture, or that have faculty interested in these topics? So far I've only come up with the University of Florida and the University of Colorado Boulder.

Thanks!

Ramzi Fawaz seems like he'd be a perfect fit for you at UW Madison. He does a lot of work on feminist theory and X Men, among other things. https://english.wisc.edu/faculty-fawaz.htm

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  • 1 year later...

San Diego State University's special collections lib has a HUGE collection of comics, zines, etc. We only have a MA program, but you might be interested. 

Edited by la_mod
put SDSU, realized that there's more than one
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I'd also like to add that Washington University in St. Louis' English department is very interdisciplinary and has close connections to the American Culture studies program in which you can get a certificate in AC. The American Culture studies program has concentrations in Popular Culture and students in the English department have been able to propose and teach courses in multiple subjects, including Comic Studies.

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I've heard really great things about Christopher Pizzino over at UGA. From what I've heard from friends that are undergrads/grads there, he teaches undergrad comics theory courses and image theory at the grad level and incorporates a lot of comics stuff there as well. 

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To streamline program info that I'm aware of:

- English PhD: U Dundee, UC Irvine, UC Davis, U Wisconsin, CUNY-GC, Maryland, Ohio State, CU-Boulder, Northeastern, Oregon, Michigan State, UGA, U Florida, Bowling Green, Texas Tech

- There are a lot of options for folks interested in an MA

- Most American Studies programs are open to the idea of Comics Studies

 

I think the biggest thing for anyone interested in Comics Studies is for them to read relevant journals (i.e. ImageText, Inks, Popular Culture, American Literature), read notable books in the field, and consider going to comics specific conferences (Comics Arts Conference in Anaheim is a blast, as it is held at WonderCon). Doing these three things will help establish:

A. if you really want to do Comics scholarship

B. where the field is at right now

C. who you might want to work with

D. if you actually want to work with them after meeting them in person (real talk, y'all)

E. if getting an MA might be worthwhile in the name of working with certain faculty

 

Edited by CulturalCriminal
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