Center for Cartoon Studies to Host Comics and Medicine Conference | Live Culture

Center for Cartoon Studies to Host Comics and Medicine Conference


  • Courtesy of Center for Cartoon Studies
The Center for Cartoon Studies has announced it will host the 9th International Comics and Medicine Conference August 16 to 18.

The annual gathering is organized by an international committee that includes the administrators of the Graphic Medicine website, along with physicians, artists, writers and scholars.

“All over the world, artists and health care providers are exploring the myriad ways that comics can make health care more effective and more humane," wrote James Sturm in a press release. He is a cofounder, with Michelle Ollie, of the White River Junction-based cartoon school.

"This conference brings together innovators from across the globe to share their best practice," continued Sturm, who's also a member of the conference organizing committee.

CCS has partnered with local medical facilities, including the White River Junction VA Medical Center, and Geisel Medical School at Dartmouth College, as part of its Applied Cartooning Initiative, which explores how comics can influence health, business, public policy and education.

“At first you wouldn’t think comics and health care would be a natural fit, but here in the Upper Valley we’ve found that they go together like peanut butter and jelly,” wrote Sturm.

The theme for this year's gathering is "The Ways We Work." The two-day program will include peer-reviewed academic papers, lectures and workshops. Attendees will share how "graphic medicine" is being utilized in settings such as public health care centers, classrooms, private clinics and libraries.

One of the keynote speakers is David Macaulay, a British-born, Norwich-based visual storyteller who won a MacArthur Fellowship grant in 2006. His book The Way We Work — which is about the human body — partly informs this year's theme, according to the committee.

The other keynote speakers are Susan Merrill Squier, professor of women's, gender and sexuality studies and English at Pennsylvania State University, as well as Whit Taylor, a cartoonist, writer, editor and public health educator from New Jersey.

The comics and medicine conference previously has been held in Baltimore, Chicago, Seattle and Toronto, as well as Dundee in Scotland, and Brighton and London in the U.K.

The Graphic Medicine website was started by Ian Williams, a physician, comics artist and writer from North Wales. He was later joined by MK Czerwiec, a nurse and artist-in-residence at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Czerwiec has been drawing comics under the pseudonym Comic Nurse since 2000.

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