comics event


Coming Soon… in AY 2023/24!

We’re still working out the details of our Fall 2023 events… but we wanted to share with you the plans in progress!

Check back in Summer 2023… and follow us on Twitter (@comicsatsdsu) or Facebook (COMICSatSDSU), for updates on these events, and others still in-the-works!

September 12-21
When Comic-Book Worlds Collide: Word Balloons in Pacific Review. An exhibition of SDSU student comics. School of Art + Design’s Everett Gee Jackson Gallery. Curated by Neil Kendricks.

September 20-21
Trina Robbins, American cartoonist, early participant in the underground comix movement, and member of the Will Eisner Hall of Fame. Trina co-produced the first all-woman comic book, the one-shot It Ain't Me, Babe.

October 12-13
Marcelo D'salete, Brazilian comic book writer, illustrator and professor. His most acclaimed works deal with the history of resistance to slavery in Brazil from the perspective of the Afro-Brazilian peoples.

November 8-9
Charles Hatfield, Professor of English at California State University, Northridge. He is the author of Hand of Fire: The Comics Art of Jack Kirby (2012), Alternative Comics (2005), and co-editor of Comics Studies: A Guidebook (2020) and The Superhero Reader (2013).

Past Events

Strong, Sexy, Singular, Stereotypes

Strong, Sexy, Singular, Stereotypes: The Power (and the Problems) of Superhero Stories

Public Lecture with Professor Carolyn Cocca, Suny - College at Old Westbury

Tuesday, April 4 | 3-4:30 p.m.
Gold Auditorium at the Donald P. Shiley, BioScience Center

In this talk, Professor Carolyn Cocca draws on her Eisner award-winning book “Superwomen: Gender, Power, and Representation,” to explore how representations of female superheroes embody empowering and inspiring images of women, as well as inequalities of gender, sexuality, race, class, religion, national origin, age, and disability. With examples from comics, TV shows, and films, Cocca illustrates the ways in which portrayals of female superheroes have changed over time — and not changed that much over time. More broadly, the talk considers how and why representation matters, and the importance of diverse, authentic representations for building empathy and equity in everyday life.

Carolyn Cocca is a professor of Politics, Economics, and Law at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury. She is the author of the Eisner Award-winning “Superwomen: Gender, Power, and Representation” and of “Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel: Militarism and Feminism in Comics and Film,” as well as numerous articles, book chapters, and online writings on similar topics. She is also the author of “Jailbait: The Politics of Statutory Rape Laws in the United States” and the editor of Adolescent Sexuality and teaches courses about U.S. politics, constitutional law, civil rights and civil liberties, and gender and sexuality.

This event is brought to you by: National Endowment for the Humanities.

Read the SDSU NewsCenter article on Cocca's visit.

Cocca lunch flyer

White Saviors, Green Aliens, Brown Women and Children: Violence and Privilege in “Wonder Woman” and “Captain Marvel”

Faculty Reading Group amd Lunch with Visiting Scholar Carolyn Cocca

Monday, April 3  | 12-2 p.m.
Arts And Letters (AL-660)

At this faculty reading group, Professor Carolyn Cocca will discuss representations of “Wonder Woman” and “Captain Marvel” enacting violence against othered enemies while also protecting similarly-othered refugees. While women superhero soldiers fighting for and caring for oppressed peoples may diversify formerly homogeneously male spaces and foment productive gender trouble, their state-affiliated military violence may also embody only token diversification while shoring up dominant cultural narratives of gender, sexuality, nation, and race. As such, this discussion will explore to what extent such representations have the potential to build empathy for others, as well as to re-center whiteness and privilege. 

This event is brought to you by: National Endowment for the Humanities.

Cocca in front of library sign

Cocca gives public lecture

Cocca speaks at faculty lunch


Graphic Medicine in 2023

Graphic Medicine in 2023

Public Lecture with A. David Lewis

Wednesday, March 22 | 3-5 p.m.
Gold Auditorium at the Donald P. Shiley BioScience Center, SDSU

The academic field, creative genre, and healthcare practice of graphic medicine is here. As it moves from its earliest days into a maturing area of comics studies and publishing, what are its further frontiers? And is there unrecognized peril among its promise? Lewis delivers both an overview and a humble prognostication of what is yet to come for the exciting, international enterprise – and how individuals can be a vital part of it!

A. David Lewis is the Eisner Award-nominated author of “American Comics, Religion, and Literary Theory: The Superhero Afterlife” as well as co-editor of both “Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books” and “Graphic Novels and Muslim Superheroes: Comics, Islam, and Representation.”

Featured on numerous podcast and television programs, Lewis is currently program director for the MHS degree at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences School of Arts and Sciences where his teaching and research focus on graphic medicine, specifically the depiction of cancer in comic books and graphic novels. Finally, he is the acclaimed author of such comics as “The Lone and Level Sands” and “Kismet, Man of Fate.”

The Cancer Comics Quotient

The Cancer Comics Quotient

Faculty Reading Group amd Lunch with Visiting Scholar David Lewis

Thursday, March 23 | 12-2 p.m.
Arts and Letters 660

It has been just over forty years since Marvel Comics published “The Death of Captain Marvel” by Jim Starlin, and the comics medium’s engagement with cancer over that time has expanded and deepened. In fact, as one of graphic medicine’s most-covered illnesses, the genre has developed an evolving relationship with cancer’s representation, from unvisualized death sentence to dastardly imp to chronic condition. Incorporating the works of Jared Gardner, Nancy K. Miller, and Marttha Stoddard Holmes, Lewis employs a structuralist approach to arrive at a data-driven analysis for depictions of the disease.

Lewis visits SCUA with Pam and Beth

Lewis gives publi clecture

Lewis speaks at faculty lunch

From Cave Paintings to Comics: A Brief History of Animation

When/Where: Saturday, February 25, 2022 from 2-3PM at Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park

Tickets at Free with musuem admission.

Delve deeper into the newly-opened Animation Academy exhibit at the San Diego Comic-Con Museum. Local teachers and artists come together to share their insights into the storied history of animation across human civilizations. What is the oldest example of animation? Why are comics important? How do artists use animation across a variety of genres? Panelists include SDSU's Beth Pollard (Center for Comics Studies), Amanda Lanthorne (University Archivist), and Neil Kendricks (artist and filmmaker), along with TJ Shevlin (Upper Deck, Little Fish Comic Book Studio).

Audience questions encouraged!

Hosted by the San Diego Comic-Con Museum and Fleet Science Center as part of the Pop Culture Science panel series.

From Cave Paintings to Comics event - speakers on stage

From Cave Paintings to Comics event - speakers on stage

From Cave Paintings to Comics event - speakers on stage


City Lit Theater’s Production of “The Mark of Kane”

Screening and Live “Talk-Back” with The Creative Team
City Lit Theater’s Production of “The Mark of Kane”

Wednesday, Feb. 22
3:30-5:15 p.m. | PLAY VIEWING
5:20-6:10 p.m. | LIVE “TALK-BACK”
West Commons 220

Created by two men but initially only credited to one, Batman made his debut on the pages of DC’s “Detective Comics” in 1939. Bob Kane would enjoy a lifetime of fame, wealth and recognition, while his collaborator Bill Finger would remain uncredited and die in poverty at the age of 60 in 1974. Finger only received credit for his intellectual and creative work in 2015, after a long battle by his family and other creators on behalf of Finger and his legacy. This is the story of “The Mark of Kane.” Not only will we view a recording of the play’s performance in late 2022, but we’ll also have a chance to talk with those who brought this compelling story to the stage. The live “talk-back” features SDSU television, film, and new media lecturer Stuart Voytilla in conversation with Chicago playwright Mark Pracht, artistic director Terry McCabe, and several actors from the production.

The Mark of Kane event - speaker on stage and zoom

The Mark of Kane event - speaker on stage and zoom

The Mark of Kane event - taped production


Comics Collecting for Social Justice in Academic Libraries

Comics Collecting for Social Justice in Academic Libraries

Tuesday, Feb 14 | 11 a.m. – noon

Join librarians and archivists from San Diego State University and the University of California, Riverside, and find out about their amazing comic collections!

SDSU's Center for Comics Studies and UCR's Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy are major research centers for comics and graphic novels: from Marvel to Image Comics, the illustrated adaptations of John Jennings to the innovative work of Somos Arte, LLC, and many others.

This hour-long presentation and discussion will showcase some of the exciting new directions comics curation - and scholarship - is taking at UCR and SDSU, with a special focus on Afrofuturist, Latinx and Indigenous comics and creators.


Captions and Corpses: How to Read an EC ComicCaptions and Corpses: How to Read an EC Comic

Public Lecture with Professor Qiana Whitted, University of South Carolina

Tuesday, Feb. 7  | 3-4:30 p.m.
Gold Auditorium at the Donald P. Shiley BioScience Center, SDSU

In her talk, Professor Qiana Whitted draws from her Eisner-award winning book on “EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest” to explore the 1950s publisher’s effort to navigate between “entertaining” and “educational” reading practices in ways that were alert to public anxieties over how comic books could influence young readers. Her discussion will consider the narrative and aesthetic strategies and justifications that various EC creators used to steer the potential impact of the company’s most notorious comics, including “The Whipping” and “The Orphan” from “Shock SuspenStories #14.” Exploring their creative choices can offer new insight into the taboo combination of explicitness, incredulity, and reading pleasure that distinguished these 1950s shock comics, while also demonstrating how EC engaged complex social messages amid the thrills and chills.

Qiana Whitted is professor of English and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina. A graduate of Hampton University with a Ph.D. from Yale University, her research and teaching focus on Black literary and cultural studies, and American comics and graphic novels. She is the author of the Eisner Award-winning book, “EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest” and co-editor of the collection on Comics and the U.S. South. Along with numerous published articles, book chapters, and online writings that explore race, genre, and history in comics, she has written the introductory essay for the recent volume of Black Panther comics for Marvel’s new Penguin Classics Collection. Her forthcoming edited collection, “Desegregating Comics: Debating Blackness in the Golden Age of American Comics,” will be published in May 2023. She is also the editor of Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society and chair of the International Comic Arts Forum.

This event is brought to you by: National Endowment for the Humanities.

Read the news stories: The San Diego Union TribuneKPBS  |  SDSU NewsCenter

Lunch with Visiting Scholar Qiana Whitted

All-New, All-Negro: Orrin C. Evans and the Golden Age of Comics

Faculty Reading Group amd Lunch with Visiting Scholar Qiana Whitted

Monday, Feb 6 | 12-2 p.m.
Arts & Letters 660

Faculty reading/lunch group with Qiana Whitted, Eisner Award winning author of "EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest."

During this research discussion, Professor Qiana Whitted uses the single issue of Orrin C. Evans’s 1947 comic book, “All-Negro Comics,” as a way of illustrating the stakes of Black popular representation during the industry’s Golden Age. She asks what the series characters – including Ace Harlem and Lion Man – can teach us about the stories that African American creators wanted to tell and the pitfalls they tried to avoid in meeting the needs of their readers. This discussion will also consider the issue’s engagement with Black culture and respectability politics, gender dynamics, and Evans’s publishing and marketing efforts.

This event is brought to you by: National Endowment for the Humanities.

Qiana Whitted with comics display

another view of Qiana Whitted public lecture

Qiana Whitted lunch

Comics of the Anthropocene: Graphic Narrative at the End of Nature

Comics of the Anthropocene: Graphic Narrative at the End of Nature

Box-lunch Reading Group with Professor José Alaniz, University of Washington, Seattle

Monday, Nov. 14 | 12-2 p.m.
Arts and Letters (AL-109)

Weaving together insights from Critical Animal Studies, Environmental Humanities, Affect Studies and Comics Studies, Alaniz’s monograph-in-progress explores the representation of animals, mass extinctions and climate change in the era popularly known as the Anthropocene in (mostly) US comics, primarily since the first Earth Day in 1970.

How have comics artists depicted the human-caused destruction of the natural world, how do these representations manifest in different genres (superheroes, biography, underground comix, journalism), and what resources unique to the comics medium do they bring to their tasks? How do these works resonate with the ethical and environmental issues raised by global conversations about the anthropogenic sixth mass extinction and climate change? How have comics mourned the loss of nature over the last five decades? Are comics “ecological objects,” in Timothy Morton’s parlance?

Animated by these questions, the study aims to break new ground in confronting our most daunting modern crisis through an analysis of how graphic narrative has uniquely addressed the ecology issue.

National Precarity in Post-Soviet Eurasian Comics

National Precarity in Post-Soviet Eurasian Comics

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022 | 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Gold Auditorium, Shiley Bioscience Center

José Alaniz is a professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of  Cinema and Media Studies at the University of  Washington, Seattle. Dr. Alaniz has published three  monographs, Komiks: Comic Art in Russia (2010);  Death, Disability and the Superhero: The Silver Age and  Beyond (2014); and Resurrection: Comics in Post-Soviet  Russia (2022). He was a founding board member of  the Comics Studies Society and his current book projects include Comics of the Anthropocene: Graphic Narrative at the End of Nature. In 2020 he published his first comics collection, The Phantom Zone and Other Stories (Amati Comix). He lives blissfully with his wife  and 25 animals in rural Washington state.

Co-sponsored by the Department of European Studies, the Center for European Studies, the European Studies program with CAL IRA funds, Department of History, Center for Comics Studies, the Center for War and Society and the SDSU Press.

José Alaniz lecture

José Alaniz lunch

Miriam KatinDrawing Through Trauma: Memory and Graphic Novels with Miriam Katin

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 | 5-6:30 pm

Among the countless tragic events making up the colossal tragedy of the Shoah, none is more shocking perhaps than the mass deportation of Hungarian Jews in 1944. In the course of a few short months, more than 440,000 men, women, and children were deported to Auschwitz and almost inevitably murdered on arrival. Thanks to false papers, two-year old Miriam Katin escaped this gruesome fate. In 2006, drawing on her mother’s memories of the Holocaust, Katin published We Are on Our Own, a graphic novel inspired by Art Spiegelman’s Maus. Katin trained as a graphic artist in Israel and is the recipient of the Inkpot Award and the Prix de la critique. Her work has been featured in the 2007 and 2014 volumes of The Best American Comics. She will be introduced by Dr. Elizabeth Pollard, a historian and founding member of the Comics Studies Collaborative at San Diego State University. Pamela Jackson, the popular culture librarian in charge of the Comic Arts archive at SDSU, provides concluding remarks on the potential of the collection for teaching and research.

Co-sponsored with the Holocaust Living History Workshop at UCSD


Grand Opening of Comics Corner
Comics Corner Grand Opening, honoring Jack Sword

Friday, November 12, 2021  | 1-2 pm

Brief showcase of treasures from the SDSU Library Comic Arts Collection, followed by a ribbon cutting and presentation to the donor.

Comics@SDSU hosts a conversation with Frank Quitely (aka Vin Deighan) and Laurence Grove
Highlights of SDSU’s Comics and Social Justice Collection - An International/Glaswegian Perspective

Monday, November 15, 2021 | 5:30-6:30 pm

A conversation with

Frank Quitely (Eisner Award-winning Comic Book Artist for All-Star Superman, New X-Men, We3 & Jupiter's Legacy)


Laurence Grove (Director, Stirling Maxwell Centre ofr the Study of Text/Image Cultures at the University of Glasgow)


Art Across the Lines Voyage of the St. Louis
Preview of San Diego Italian Film Festival Event - Art Across the Lines Voyage of the St. Louis

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 | 11 am-12 pm

Panel discussion by Antony Shugaar (translator from the Italian and Red Car Press publisher), Alonso Nunez (Little Fish Comic Book Studio) and Antonio Iannotta (Artistic Director of the San Diego Italian Film Festival); Moderated by Beth Pollard (History and [email protected])

Co-Sponsored with the Italian Studies Program, Department of European Studies, and the Center for European Studies.

Weshoyot Alvitre
A Conversation with Weshoyot Alvitre 

Thursday, November 18, 2021 | 9:45 - 10:45 am

Weshoyot Alvitre is a Tongva (Los Angeles Basin) and Scottish comic book artist and illustrator.  Weshoyot has been working in the comics medium for over 15 years and has since contributed to numerous Eisner award-winning books, including the “Umbrella Academy” (Darkhorse Comics), “Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream” (Locust Moon Press) and "Little Bird" (Image Comics). 

Co-Sponsored with American Indian Studies, SDSU Native Resources Center, NAIFSA

Dr. Ralph Clare Lecture on Adrian Tomine’s Shortcoming's
The Asian-American Artist and the Post-Racial Mountain-as-Molehill

Thursday, November 18, 2021 | 11:00 am -12:15 pm

Dr. Ralph Clare (Associate Professor of English at Boise State University) Lecture on Adrian Tomine’s Shortcoming's

Cosponsored by Amatl Comix, SDSU Press, Hyperbole Books, and MALAS

Archaeology in 1950s Comic Books
Archaeology in 1950s Comic Books

Friday, November 19, 2021 | 7:15-8:45 pm

Lecture by Prof. E.A. Pollard (SDSU) 

Co-Sponsored with the San Diego Society of the Archaeological Institute of America

San Diego Comic Con Special Edition
San Diego Comic Con Special Edition

CBLDF: Civic Engagement and Comics
Friday, November 26, 2021 | 2-3 pm

The past few years have represented a sea change in how people engage with their communities, with vital exercises of First Amendment rights in protests and the art that rises around them. As with many artistic endeavors, civic engagement has been an integral part of comics since the format’s origin, addressing issues as diverse as women’s rights, civil rights, LGBTQ+ representation, antiracism, and so much more. Panelists explore how comics have been used to address social and political issues in the past and how contemporary creators and educators are using comics to engage the community. Betsy Gomez (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund), Elizabeth Pollard (Professor of History, SDSU) and Pamela Jackson (Comic Arts Curator, SDSU Library), Jordan Smith (CBLDF). 

Comics Arts Conference Session #3: Comics and Social Justice at SDSU
Friday, November 26, 2021 | 4-5:30 pm

[email protected] is a grass-roots cross-college initiative whose goal is to cultivate innovative teaching, pursue transformative research, and foster vibrant community interaction, especially with regard to the unique power of the comics medium to bring about social change. This panel screens a short film that highlights the work of [email protected]’s Comics and Social Justice Initiative. Following that screening, moderator Beth Pollard (SDSU) reflects on the goals of the Initiative as well as the scholarship and opportunities for student learning and research that the Initiative fosters. Pamela Jackson (SDSU Special Collections) discusses the role of the SDSU Library’s comics collection in supporting this Initiative and in making connections with the wider community. Neil Kendricks (SDSU School of Art + Design) and William Nericcio (Amatl Comix) share their perspectives on the Initiative. Fawaz Qashat (SDSU) explains the importance of comics courses and the Initiative to his undergraduate SDSU experience.

Judging the Eisner Awards 2021: Behind the Scenes
Saturday, November 27, 2021 | 10:30-11:30 am

How does the judging process work for the “Oscars” of the comics industry? What challenges did this year’s panel of judges face in arriving at the nominees in over 30 categories? What were some of their personal favorite works from 2020? Marco Davanzo (owner, Alakazam Comics, Irvine, CA), Pamela Jackson (popular culture librarian, San Diego State University), Keithan Jones (founder and owner of KID Comics; creator of San Diego's annual Black Comix Day), Alonso Nuñez (co-founder, executive director, and lead instructor of San Diego’s Little Fish Comic Book Studio), and Jim Thompson (comics scholar, Comic Book Historians) share their experiences. Moderated by Eisner Awards administrator Jackie Estrada.

Jonathan Fahn aka Shikaku Nara from Naruto

Monday, December 6, 2021 | 4-5:30 pm

Voice Actor in numerous Anime series will be discussing the creation process and working as a voice actor with History 157.

Black Representation in the World of Animation
Black Representation in the World of Animation

Tuesday, December 7, 2021 | 11 am-12:15 pm

Darius Gainer lecturing on a new Amatl Comix book

Co-sponsored by Amatl Comix, SDSU Press, Hyperbole Books, and MALAS

Comics and Social Justice
Comics and Social Justice

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 | 4-5 pm

A Conversation with SDSU Artist-in-Residence Zeal Harris


Premiere of Comics and Social Justice Short Film
Premiere of Comics and Social Justice Short Film at the Social Justice Big Idea Showcase

Thursday, March 18, 2021 | 4-5 pm

Generations of children and youth have spent many hours reading comics, traveling to far away lands, feeding their fascination for superheroes, and learning about people much like themselves facing real-life issues. 

Research shows comics are a great medium to address timely social issues, from pandemic diseases and racial injustice to wealth inequality, immigration and more. 

A grassroots collaboration between humanists, educators, librarians, scientists, and artists from across SDSU and the wider San Diego community envisions becoming the nation's leading comic studies collaborative. 

They believe the study of comics can bring transformational experiences that advocate for social justice, imagine audacious solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems, and promote the idea that individuals can make a difference. The SDSU Library curates a large collection of comics that will serve as an innovative resource for teaching and research.

Televisual Assassination, Virtual Subjectivity and Digital Alienation
Televisual Assassination, Virtual Subjectivity and Digital Alienation

Tiesday, April 20, 2021 | 11 am

An Electric, Erotic Ontology of Death in Naief Yehya's Drone Visions: A Brief Cyberpunk History of Killing Machines and Pratap Chatterjee's and Khalil's Verax. The True History of

Whistleblowers, Drone Warfare, and Mass Surveillance: A Graphic Novel

Professor William A. Nericcio

You and your students are invited to a multimedia presentation focused on the groundbreaking work of Mexican cultural critic Naief Yehya (Drone Visions, Hyperbole Books) and Sri Lankan journalist Pratap Chatterjee & Algerian American cartoonist Khalil Bendib (Verax, Metropolitan Books). Both works reveal a world of technology, surveillance, and ethics spinning out of control. Never before have  drone technologies advanced so far—we’ve arrived at the point where annihilation and murder by remote control runs the risk of turning all of us into erasable ratios.  Once imagined as a safe way to save the lives of pilots, drones, like the wretched  Frankenstein monster Mary Shelley imagined, now run amok, making the spectre of collateral damage a way of life (and death) and establishing a voyeuristic economy of violence whose mark will not soon be erased.

Co-sponsored by Amatl Comix, SDSU Press, Hyperbole Books, and MALAS

Special Guest Jonathan Fahn
Special Guest Jonathan Fahn

Monday, October 19, 2020 | 2 pm and 4 pm

Born in Queens and raised on Long Island in Huntington, NY, Jonathan moved west to southern California with his family at the age of 12. He soon had his first talent agent in Hollywood and was a child actor auditioning for hundreds of commercials, TV shows, movie parts, and performing thru his high school years in Huntington Beach. After earning a degree in Acting/Directing from Long Beach State, he moved his talents up to L.A. to pursue his dreams in show biz full time. His wife Jennie, also an actor/writer, and he have two sons, Harry and Sammy.

As a voice over artist, Jonathan has appeared in hundreds of projects on Cartoon Network, MTV, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, ABC, FOX, Disney, and other platforms for animation, live action, and video games. Most notably, as Shikaku Nara on Naruto, Ricky on LEGO Friends, Miles on Cowboy Bebop, and as Hibiki Kanzaki on the groundbreaking Macross II series. Other credits include Digimon, Forest of Piano, Better Than Us, The Seven Deadly Sins, Mob Psycho 100, HunterxHunter, and many others.

Jonathan has also worked extensively as an award-winning actor, director, writer, and producer for film, TV, and stage. His new indie quarantine inspired web series, "5-Star Weekend", a collaboration with his wife, is currently streaming episodes on YouTube.

History and Comics - A Conversation with Billy Grove and Frank Quitely
History and Comics - A Conversation with Billy Grove and Frank Quitely

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 | 4-6 pm

Laurence Grove, author of Comic Invention: The World’s First Comic, Everything Before, After – Frank Quitely, is a Professor of French and Text/Image Studies and Director of the Stirling Maxwell Centre at  the University of Glasgow.  Rank Quitely is a four-time Eisner Award winner and DC comic artist (including such titles as New X-Men, All-Star Superman, and Batman and Robin). Join them for a conversation about history, and comics, and the history of comics… and much more!

Co-sponsored with the Department of History,  Library, MALAS, SDSU Press/Amatl Comix, School of Art + Design

Find History in All the Wrong Places: Making The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt
Find History in All the Wrong Places: Making The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt

Thursday, November 7, 2019 | 4:30-6 pm

Professor Michael G. Vann will discuss his new book, The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empire, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam. This graphic history tells the darkly humorous story of the French colonial state's failed efforts to impose its vision of modernity upon the colonial city of Hanoi, Vietnam. It is a case study in the history of imperialism, highlighting the racialized economic inequalities of empire, colonization as a form of modernization, and industrial capitalism's creation of a radical power differential between "the West and the rest." On a deeper level, The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt examines the contradictions unique to the French Third Republic's colonial "civilizing mission," the development of Vietnamese resistance to French rule, and the history of disease. The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt illustrates the ironic and tragic ways in which modernization projects can have unintended consequences.

Michael G. Vann, a native of O’ahu, earned his Ph.D. in history at the University of California in 1999. He has taught at several universities in Northern California and Asia. Vann has been awarded three Fulbright grants (France, Indonesia, and Cambodia), a research fellowship from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, a Center for Khmer Studies senior researcher fellowship, and fellowship from the Korea Society. His research on the French colonial empire and the history of Southeast Asia during the Cold War has been published in several book and over two dozen academic journals. He currently chairs the Academic Council on International Programs, the faculty governance body which oversees the study abroad programs for the California State University’s 23 campuses. He is also a new podcast host for New Books in History. When not reading he can be found surfing in Santa Cruz.

This talk is supported by SDSU’S Phi Alpha Theta Chapter & the Dwight Stanford Endowment.