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ERIC Number: EJ1062041
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-1534-9322
The Underdog Disciplines: Comics Studies and Composition and Rhetoric
Kirtley, Susan
Composition Studies, v43 n1 p171-173 Spr 2015
This report discusses the answer to the question: What might comic studies learn from the slightly older field of composition and rhetoric? The author asks the question as a member of both fields. It is clear that both disciplines struggle for legitimacy within the academy. While comics studies strives for respectability given the popular nature of its research subject, composition and rhetoric struggles with its service reputation. Still, each field looks to find authority, acceptance, and a place within the academy. The two disciplines share a focus on interdisciplinarity, which makes the fields exciting, innovative, and difficult to locate within institutions. Is the answer to cut ties with English or other sponsoring departments and establish a separate space as some composition and rhetoric departments have done? Or, alternately, is there a way to build an interdisciplinary space across boundaries? These will be key questions as comics studies continues to develop. As the somewhat more senior discipline, composition and rhetoric has the advantage of time and self-reflection in defining itself. If comics studies is to thrive, scholars in the field must also gather evidence to support these endeavors. In order to grow and expand, the case for additional resources with solid data and evidence, drawing inspiration from efforts such as "The Visibility Project" must be made. Comics studies has the opportunity to write its origin story--charting a course for the future. The author encourages comics scholars to look not just at what they are not and do not want, but rather, consider what it is they do well, and what they want for their students, their discipline, and themselves.
University of Cincinnati. Department of English, P.O. Box 210069, Cincinnati, OH 45221. Tel: 513-556-6519; Fax: 513-556-5960; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A