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Faculty Lecture: Scott Bukatman on Comics in America

The medium of comics presents a heightened adventure of reading in which syntheses of word and image, image sequences, and serial narratives are continually performed by the eager reader. A prose novel depends almost exclusively on the use of language; the aesthetics of the book is incidental to its meaning. But comics are materially tied to their aesthetics: what they are is fundamental to what they mean, to the effects they produce, and to the worlds they build.

Scott Bukatman is a cultural theorist and Professor of Film and Media Studies at Stanford University. His research explores how such popular media as film, comics, and animation mediate between new technologies and human perceptual and bodily experience. His books include Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction, one of the earliest book-length studies of cyberculture; a monograph on the film Blade Runner commissioned by the British Film Institute; and a collection of essays, Matters of Gravity: Special Effects and Supermen in the 20th Century. The Poetics of Slumberland: Animated Spirits and the Animating Spirit, celebrates play, plasmatic possibility, and the life of images in cartoons, comics, and cinema. Bukatman has been published in abundant journals and anthologies, including October, Critical Inquiry, Camera Obscura, and Science Fiction Studies.

His recently published book, Hellboy's World: Comics and Monsters on the Margins (2016) uses Mike Mignola's Hellboy comics to better understand the ways in which comics engage and engross their readers.



Thursday, December 8, 2016. 06:00PM


Cantor Arts Center, Auditorium


Cantor Arts Center