Hello everyone! My name is Colin Beineke and I am the Vice President of the CSS Graduate Student Caucus. I am currently a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Missouri, working on a dissertation which proposes to examine the development and deployment of “house styles” among contemporary comics publishers.
I am more than thrilled to be serving on the Executive Board of the GSC. Working in comics studies, especially as a graduate student, can at times feel like an isolated and unguided endeavor; our chosen specialization situates us in an exciting yet still crystalizing environment. One of the goals of the GSC is to help graduate students interested in comics studies navigate the challenges that such an academic undertaking and career path proffers.
I whole-heartedly believe that the recent, current, and upcoming generations of graduate students working in comics studies are having, and are going to have, a radical influence on the future of the field. One of the greatest things about our young discipline is that there remains so much ground left to cover! And graduate students are playing a vital role in the excavation. I have read articles, theses, and dissertations and attended conference panels and roundtables which challenge and advance existing scholarship through their originality, and with their curiosity illuminate unacknowledged expanses of comics history, culture, and texts.
I began my own graduate career intending to focus on folklore, but when I discovered the burgeoning field of comics studies while writing a seminar paper on folklore in Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, I quickly jumped ship. I have never regretted taking the path I now find myself upon; along the way I have found that the comics studies community not only shares my enthusiasm for the comics form but is genuinely invested in seeing young scholars grow and contribute to the field.
Aside from my dissertation, my current projects include two articles under peer-review (fingers crossed!). The first is a co-written piece which focuses on the life and work of Rose O’Neill, the first female comic strip artist in the United States and creator of the Kewpies. The second article is an expansion of a paper I presented at last year’s International Comic Arts Forum. This article proposes the concept of “comicity” – which, in short, is the comics equivalent of literariness or cinematic – as a way of negotiating the relationship between comics and other art forms.
As the Comics Studies Society continues to cement its foundations and we move towards the official opening of membership registration, we need your help in spreading the word about the GSC. Please share our website (gradcaucus.comicssociety.org) and like/follow our Facebook (facebook.com/