HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (June 21, 2012) — Northern Kentucky University faculty from English, visual arts and first-year programs will present research at the country’s largest comic book and pop culture convention, Comic-Con International, which takes place July 11-15 in San Diego.
Originally showcasing comic books, science fiction/fantasy, film and television and related popular arts, Comic-Con has expanded over the years to include a larger range of pop culture elements such as horror, animation, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics and fantasy novels. It is the largest such convention in North America.
Dr. John Alberti, Candice Van Loveren Geis and Rich Shivener will present during the convention’s Comics Arts Conference, a series that advocates comics scholarship and criticism. After submitting an abstract, they were invited to present during the CAC’s 90-minute poster session, to be held on Saturday, July 14. The title of their poster session is “Graphic Narratives as Learning Tools in Higher Education: A Case of Kabuki: The Alchemy.” Kabuki: The Alchemy was NKU’s 2011 Book Connection selection, read by more than 1,000 freshmen.
“The Book Connection selection of Kabuki: The Alchemy last year allowed us to celebrate the genius of NKU’s alumnus David Mack and to introduce students to the exciting diversity of written and visual expression in the 21st century,” said Dr. Alberti, professor of English. “We are excited about sharing what’s going on at NKU at Comic-Con, the most important gathering of creators, fans, and scholars of pop culture in the world.”
Van Loveren Geis is an advisor and lecturer who teaches, among other things, college writing for visual arts majors. “Comic-Con is a unique venue to reach a wider audience concerning academic research,” she said. “It is exciting to present at such an event and spread the educational experiences that students can gain at NKU. Weaving popular culture into an academic setting is a natural fit for the visual arts. My students were excited to be challenged conceptually and in writing by focusing on a topic they were more familiar with, graphic novels.”
Shivener, assistant director of first-year programs, teaches UNV 101 and manages the NKU Book Connection programming. “Our poster at Comic-Con is a great way to reflect on the year of Kabuki: The Alchemy at NKU. We hope to make connections with scholars and fans alike.”
The Book Connection seeks to bring faculty and freshmen together through a shared reading experience while focusing on issues addressed in a popular fiction or nonfiction book. Every year, a committee of faculty, staff and students selects a book for the program. NKU’s Office of First-Year Programs introduced the program in 2000.