History & Comics
With the publication of Abina and the Important Men in 2012, I entered the world of graphic histories – intentional accounts of the past depicted through sequential, juxtaposed art and text. I have recently edited a special article-length review section of the American Historical Review on this medium, including authoring an introductory essay entitled “Getting Serious about Comic Histories“. Working with artists and historians, I have also begun to produce a series of one-page graphic biographies. They’re featured in this little video we made about how to read comics as part of a world history course.
In addition to this work and a number of conference papers, I have become seriously engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning in this area. While comics and graphic histories of all kinds have made their way into the social studies classroom, little serious work has been done on effective methodologies for employing sequential art-and-text to promote students’ acquisition and internalization of core history and social studies competencies. I’m gradually preparing a study focused on teachers’ use of comics in the history classroom, with the eventual goal of producing work that informs evidence-based pedagogy utilizing comics in the classroom.