Tilley shares comics research at European universities

Carol Tilley
Carol Tilley, Associate Professor

Associate Professor Carol Tilley shared her expertise in comics research at several invited talks in Europe this month.

Tilley served as the keynote speaker for the international conference, "Comics, the Children and Childishness," at Ghent University in Belgium. In her keynote, "Re-Centering Children in Comics," she encouraged researchers studying comics and children to give more focus to the lived experiences of young people, moving away from an over-reliance on studying specific texts or their uses.

On September 15, she gave an invited talk, "Finding Kids in (Sometimes) Unexpected Places: Children, Comics, and Archives," at the University of Siegen in Germany, and on September 22, she presented "Children and Comics: A Look at Historical Popular and Participatory Cultures in the U.S." at the University of Bordeaux in France.

"In all three talks, I draw extensively on my research from the past decade that seeks to center the ways in which children and teens did things with and through comics during the mid-twentieth century in the U.S. Some of the examples focus on activities such as participating in cartooning contests, creating personal and community collections of comics, and critically engaging with debates about the value of reading comics. Additionally, I provided guidance in reading sideways through archival and primary source collections to recover and contextualize additional examples of young people's experiences," said Tilley.

Tilley is a founding member and past president of the Comics Studies Society. She serves as director of research for Reading with Pictures, a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy through the use of comics in the classroom, and as associate editor for peer-reviewed scholarship for Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society. Tilley has served as a judge for the Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards, Ringo Awards, and Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize. At the iSchool, Tilley teaches courses in comics reader's advisory, media literacy, and youth services librarianship.

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