Introductions: Rachel Miller, Secretary-Treasurer
Following our recent CSS elections, we wanted to introduce our two new board members. First up is Rachel Miller, our new Secretary-Treasurer -ed.
Hey y’all! I’m Rachel Miller, current PhD student in the Ohio State University’s English Department, lover of mini comics, zines, and hanging out on the many porches of Columbus (even in the winter months). In my academic life, I work on Post-1945 American lit, gender and sexuality, and popular culture (especially as it pertains to the “trash[ed]” culture of teenage girls 1984 – present). I received my MA from Ohio State, defending a paper about Ghost World, the Riot Grrl movement and what teen girl bedrooms can tell us about periodization and literary history; and I hold a BA from the University of Chicago.
My current project considers how teenage girlhood, particularly as it emerges through feminist activist archives in the early 90s and across a range of pop culture text from this period, might help us resituate dominant modes of talking about what happens to postmodernism at the end of the millennium (and after). I consider how the archival methods of teenage girls (bedroom culture, diary keeping, etc.) represented in film and comics; the use of “girl” and girl culture as both a marketing ploy and a feminist rallying point during the early 90s; and the ties between feminist comics, small press, and arts practices of the period might point towards methods of rethinking time, history, and the archive (or something like that, who knows.) I work a lot with comics by Phoebe Gloeckner, Lynda Barry, and Dan Clowes, but I also hope to excavate the really rich comics made by women and girls at the smallest of small presses (early work by Ariel Bordeaux, Ariel Schrag, Jessica Abel, etc. etc. etc. there are a lot of them).
In my non-academic life, I run the blog Trash Queens where I write about and review (what else) contemporary comics, mini comics, webcomics and zines by girls and women. I also care for and mother a small black pug named Wallace – our life is eerily similar to the above panel from Plutona (except I don’t live with my mom and my pug’s name is Wallace not Loki, though that is, admittedly a pretty rad name for a pug).