A roundup of news, upcoming talks, and resources from my classes that I’ve made available (with an opportunity to participate in my class’s midterm(!) below).

Past events first: the kind folks at Duke’s Franklin Humanities Institute have made a terrific video that weaves together an interview with me, alongside a workshop and talk I did last year at Duke as part of their symposium on Neurodiversities. I’m not one to watch myself on video, but they did an absolutely terrific job and I quite enjoyed and learned from it. The video gives a good sense of what one of my workshops looks like. The short version is here, and there is a longer one as well here.

I did an interview on how I came to do my dissertation in comics and shared insights from my classroom with the Learning Landscapes Academic Journal a while back. You can find the landing page to the interview here, the PDF here, or audio clips from it here.

Two weeks back, I was once again at UC Santa Cruz where Unflattening has been the summer freshman common read for Cowell Residential College the past three years, and next week on Tuesday, November 12, I’m excited to be down at Claremont McKenna College as part of their Athenaeum Speaker series talking Unflattening and thinking in comics.

Some future events: in February, I’ll be back in my home state for the Michigan State University Comics Forum – an annual academic conference that brings together scholars, creators, and fans in order to explore and celebrate the medium of comics, graphic storytelling, and sequential art. In its thirteenth year, the Comics Forum will be held at the Michigan State University Main Library, which houses the world’s largest public collection of comic books. I’ll be keynoting along with My Favorite Things Is Monsters‘s rock star comics artist Emil Ferris! Finally, in March, I’ll be in London, as one of the keynotes of Transitions 9, a one-day comics symposium which aims to build connections between comics scholars working in diverse academic departments and contexts. The call for papers is now live for Transitions and details can be found here.

From the Classroom: This summer I posted a ton about the Visual Analysis Project we do in my classes – and in addition to the instructions, the post is filled with some of the best student examples I’ve collected over the years. It now has its own permanent page on my site here, and in October, I posted the instructions and sample pages, and invited people on twitter to join in with my class. That’s all posted here.

With the Fall term starting, I finally documented EVERYTHING I do in my Comics & Culture and intro Making Comics courses in full – syllabi, what we did each week, readings, assignments, and examples of student work from all the activities. That all now can be found on the Education part of my site here. As I did with the visual analysis project last month, I thought I’d invite anyone who wishes to join in with our take-home Midterm for the Comics & Culture course. At the link, you’ll find a PDF that includes the instructions of each of the three parts, and then sample pages if you want to use them for the visual analysis section. If you feel like joining in and want to share on twitter – tag me @nsousanis. The short version: part one asks you to write a letter to someone with authority over who over why comics belong in the classroom, part two is visual analysis, and part three provides a list of comics terms that have to be used in order to make a one-page comic demonstrating your working knowledge of the form. Instructions downloadable here. (Note: the midterm was co-designed with my colleague Frederik Køhlert when co-taught as postdocs at the University of Calgary.) I post a bunch of stuff from class as we do it to Twitter…

And finally – a few setbacks this fall with coming down with pneumonia, of all things, start of semester, but work proceeds on my new book, currently titled Nostos. I documented some aspects of the process for my tenure file (part of that fall setback) – and I share a little snippet of that here. For those curious, an excerpt of my non-script for my opening chapter and an intro to explain what this very strange document is, along with two of the sketchmaps for a chunk of the chapter (a continuous sequence that stretched over 22 pages when all was said and done). On Twitter, usually late in the night Pacific Time Zone, I’ll post a few work in progress images from this if you’re so inclined to seek them out. Onward! – N

What that completed first chapter looks like, sort of…