Nick Sousanis is a professor of Humanities & Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University. He received his doctorate in education at Teachers College, Columbia University in 2014, where he wrote and drew his dissertation entirely in comic book form. Titled Unflattening, it argues for the importance of visual thinking in teaching and learning, and it is now a book from Harvard University Press. Unflattening received the 2016 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE Award) in Humanities, the Lynd Ward Prize for best Graphic Novel of 2015, and was nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Scholarly/Academic work.
Before coming to New York City, he was immersed in Detroit’s thriving arts community, where he co-founded the arts and culture site thedetroiter.com and became the biographer of legendary Detroit artist Charles McGee. He developed and taught courses on comics as powerful communication tools at Teachers College and Parsons in NYC, and Comics as a Way of Thinking at the University of Calgary in Fall of 2015. In the fall of 2016, he will begin teaching as an assistant professor at San Francisco State University in the departments of Humanities and Liberal Studies.
Nick’s work has been featured with reviews and interviews in such places as The Paris Review, The New York Times, the LA Review of Books, PrintMag, Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Publishers Weekly, Microsoft’s Daily Edventures, and Russia’s Theory & Practice for the new possibilities for scholarship that it represents. (See full list here.) In addition to numerous academic conference presentations, he’s been featured in several academic gatherings around alternative scholarship, including most recently HUMlab/Umeå University in Sweden and the CUNY Graduate Center in NYC. He has given invited public talks at the National Gallery of Art (DC), Stanford University, UCLA, and Microsoft Research (which also hosted an exhibition of the work), and keynote addresses at the annual conferences of the Visitor Studies Association and the International Visual Literacy Association. His work has been on display in Moscow, the Netherlands, Microsoft Research, and more.
He lives in San Francisco with his wife Leah Keller and their daughter.
Recorded Talks (See here for Speaking Schedule)
Jun 2016 National Gallery of Art (DC)
Apr 2016 Video interview w/Howard Rheingold on Digital Media + Learning Central
Mar 2016 Tapestry Conference Keynote
Feb 2016 Duke Storylab video conversation with my editor Sharmila Sen
Oct 2014 International Visual Literacy Association Keynote
Jul 2013 Microsoft Research exhibition talk + MSR/Studio 99 interview
Mar 2013 Ohio State University Art Education
Photo credit Eliza Lamb.