I’m excited to see “Unflattening” picked up in other fields and entering the lexicon a bit… First up, Dr. Diane Jette, the Associate Chair of Physical Therapy at Massachusetts General Hospital referred to it as part of her keynote lecture at the American Physical Therapy Association conference. This was brought to my attention by Mike Pascoe assistant professor at the University of Colorado, who reported on the talk here:

Dr. Jette found inspiration for the framework of her lecture after reading ‘Unflattening’ by Dr. Nick Sousanis. This book is meant to challenge narrow, rigid thinking that Sousanis calls “flatness.” This is a take on the concept of flatlanders, which are a group of people that only exist is two dimensions and cannot fathom the idea of a vertical “upwardness”…. Jette uses this analogy to describe the current state of higher [DPT] education — that we are all in a stasis of thought. So, to break thru this stasis and engender new ways of seeing PT education, we must Unflatten higher education. [in full here]

Meanwhile, over in the world of Design, Julien Zmiro wrote a post for Intercom applying ideas and visual references from Unflattening to design! (Semi-related, Edwin A. Abbott’s Flatland is experiencing a resurgence, check out Turkish Photographer Aydın Büyüktaş digitally sewn photographs which offer a “multidimensional romantic point of view” from Hyperallergic.) (The piece draws on the above pages in particular.)

The Chronicle of Higher Education profiled my work along with alternative scholarship from Amanda Visconti and Jesse Merandy for a feature on the rise of new forms of scholarship and how those of us who do so fare on the job market. (The Chronicle article may be behind a paywall, if so, see a PDF of it here: Ph.D.s Embrace Alternative Dissertations. The Job Market May Not.)

The preeminent Italian comics journal Fumettologica offered a phenomenally insightful review of Unflattening from Marco Apostoli Cappello. If you read Italian, it’s online on Fumettologica’s site here, or you can read it in english here via google translate. It’s a little slow to load, but worth the wait! The design site Canva named Unflattening one of its 30 must-read Design Books.

The exhibition of Unflattening (“Educating Interdisciplinarians”) that began in Utrecht is continuing now at the University of Amsterdam. Co-Organizer of the exhibition Professor Machiel Keestra wrote about it in Dutch here. You can see the English version of his article here.

Harvard University Press’s site highlights Unflattening receiving the American Publishers Association award for Scholarly Excellence in the Humanities. I’m thrilled the work was the first comic to do so – and what this means for comics going forward! More on the PROSE award here, and full press info here.

Two weeks ago, I had a fantastic time traveling to Detroit’s College for Creative Studies and Duke University’s StoryLab to talk comics, Unflattening, and new scholarship. This week, I’m off again for a whirlwind trip. First up, I’m doing a keynote talk in Denver Wednesday March 9 at Tapestry – a conference devoted to data storytelling. (And curiously held at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park – apparently the inspiration for the Shining…) Follow along on Twitter at @tapestryconf #tapestryconf – should be a fascinating discussion, excited to share my work in comics and learn from what everyone there is doing in dataviz.

From there, I’m off to the Kent State College of Architecture Thursday March 10 – to give a talk that’s part of a larger comics/architecture symposium, that will see such folks as Chris Ware and Françoise Ware presenting there in early April. And on Friday, March 11, I shuttle across Ohio, to Miami University to give the opening keynote at the McComb Undergraduate Conference on Creative Writing: Graphic Narrative. It is a full few days to say the least – but I’m excited to contribute and interact with everyone along the way. So if you know anyone in those areas – send ’em to come by! (Oh, and the following week, Thursday March 17, I’ll be at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, for a talk and workshop, room details to be announced.) (All forthcoming and prior speaking engagements here.)

Been working on non-drawing projects recently, but plan to get back to the drawing board when these last trips are through… – N