Introduction: Theresa Rojas, Member at Large

Graphic Medicine Panel-Theresa RojasHello from Boston! I’m Dr. Theresa Rojas, a SHASS postdoctoral fellow at MIT’s Comparative Media Studies & Writing program.  SHASS is the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.  I work Post-1945 American literature, US Latino literature and popular culture, narrative theory, and gender, with a particular interest in comics, neuroaesthetics, and visual culture.  I received my PhD in English with an emphasis on comparative media and narrative theory from The Ohio State University, my MLA from Eastern Michigan University in Women’s and Gender Studies, and a BA in English from UC Berkeley.  I’m also an artist who works primarily in acrylics, wood, and ink.  I’ve been exhibiting my work since 2009 and am working on a comics series about living in Boston.

On the comics front, I am heavily interested in Graphic Medicine, which involves the relationship between comics and healthcare/medicine (broadly conceived).  In addition to comics scholars, folks interested in Graphic Medicine include medical practitioners, healthcare workers, comics artists and writers, and a wide variety of patients as well as general comics fans.  The panel above was recently included in Graphic Medicine Manifesto (2015) published by Penn State University Press.

What many folks don’t know about MIT is that the university is deeply invested in offering an outstanding arts and humanities education.  In fact, in 2015, the Times Higher Education 2015 World University Rankings named MIT one of the top three universities worldwide for arts and humanities.  As such, I’m thrilled to be part of CMS/W, where we are encouraged to “apply critical analysis, collaborative research, and design across a variety of media arts, forms, and practices.” For me, this means exploring storytelling across media and the ways that this kind of intermediality can be used as a lens to for studying Latino narratives to help us understand diverse representations of Latinos in American and how those representations are consumed.  This is the central work of my dissertation and forthcoming book project: Manifold Imaginaries: Latino Intermedial Narratives in the Twenty-first Century.

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