‘Comics and Stuff’ virtual book club: Object lessons

Tue, 06/30/2020

1011:30 PT


Contemporary culture is awash with stuff. Contemporary graphic novels give vivid expression to a culture preoccupied with the processes of circulation and appraisal, accumulation, and possession. By design, comics encourage the reader to scan the landscape, to pay attention to the physical objects that fill our lives and constitute our familiar surroundings. Because comics take place in a completely fabricated world, everything is there intentionally. Comics are stuff; comics tell stories about stuff; and they display stuff. ”Stuff” refers not only to physical objects, but also to the emotions, sentimental attachments, and nostalgic longings that we express ― or hold at bay ― through our relationships with stuff.

Join Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts, and Education Henry Jenkins, and a range of guest speakers for a discussion of chapters six through eight and the epilogue of his new book, Comics and Stuff, and, more broadly, of comics, comic studies, and living with stuff. Those attending will get the most out of the experience if they have read the relevant passage from the book, but are still welcome if they are encountering these ideas for the first time.

This session will cover how scrapbooks helped to inform the aesthetics of women’s graphic storytelling practices; the ways the depiction of “stuff” in graphic stories has been tied to family history and, more generally, aspects of the past that sit uneasily in the present; and the different kinds of stories women and artists of color have told about their relationships to the material world.


  • Rebecca Wanzo
  • Hillary Chute
  • More TBA