Hello all! My name is Alison Sagara and I am the Secretary-Treasurer of the CSS Graduate Student Caucus. I began working on comics as an undergrad at Ohio State after I took a graphic novel course and read Watchmen for the first time. After writing about Watchmen’s uses of simultaneity and complex narrative structures in my undergraduate thesis, I decided to attend grad school to continue studying comics. After reading some of Joe Sacco’s nonfiction comics, I became interested in the genre and eventually began to amass a collection of comics memoirs. Favorites include David B’s Epileptic, Lucy Knisley’s Relish, Nicole Georges’ Calling Dr. Laura. Through my work in grad school, I’ve become interested in the intersections of comics studies and narrative medicine—amazingly, there’s a rich intersection of these genres.
My current project focuses on a memoir called Psychiatric Tales, created by British comics artist Darryl Cunningham. In this paper I examine the importance of genre and audience in narratives like Cunningham’s and also propose a sub-genre that includes graphic pathographies like Psychiatric Tales, Ellen Forney’s Marbles, and Marisa Acocella Marchetto’s Cancer Vixen. In the past I’ve written about the evolution of HIV/AIDS narratives and the way Frederik Peeters represents his experience with the epidemic in his memoir, Blue Pills.
As the GSC’s Secretary-Treasurer, I maintain the group’s Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/cssgradstudentcaucus?fref=ts) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/CSS_GSC). Be sure to check us out!