Thursday, July 23, 2015

Daniel Worden’s edited volume The Comics of Joe Sacco: Journalism in a Visual World published by the University Press of Mississippi

Daniel Worden’s latest book, an edited collection of essays titled The Comics of Joe Sacco: Journalism in a Visual World, has just been published by the University Press of Mississippi. The book also features an essay by UNM English PhD Candidate Ann D’Orazio.

The Comics of Joe Sacco addresses the range of his award-winning work, from his early comics stories as well as his ground-breaking journalism Palestine (1993) and Safe Area to Gorade (2000), to Footnotes in Gaza (2009) and his most recent book The Great War (2013), a graphic history of World War I.

First in the new series Critical Approaches to Comics Artists, this edited volume explores Sacco's comics journalism, and features established and emerging scholars from comics studies, cultural studies, geography, literary studies, political science, and communication studies. Sacco's work has already found a place in some of the foundational scholarship in comics studies, and this book solidifies his role as one of the most important comics artists today.

Sections focus on how Sacco's comics journalism critiques and employs the "standard of objectivity" in mainstream reporting, what aesthetic principles and approaches to lived experience can be found in his comics, how Sacco employs the space of the comics page to map history and war, and the ways that his comics function in the classroom and as human rights activism. The Comics of Joe Sacco offers definitive, exciting approaches to some of the most important--and necessary--comics today, by one of the most acclaimed journalist-artists of our time.  

The book is available through booksellers everywhere, and here:


ALS PhD Student W. Oliver Baker wins the Michael Sprinker Essay Prize

W. Oliver Baker’s essay “The Materialism of Violence and the Politics of Recognition in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian” has won the Michael Sprinker Prize, a national essay competition hosted by the Marxist Literary Group and the editors of the journal Mediations. The Michael Sprinker award recognizes an essay or dissertation chapter that engages with Marxist theory, scholarship, pedagogy, and/or activism. The winner receives a prize of $500 and automatic entry of the essay into the peer review process for the journal Mediations. Commenting on Oliver’s essay, the judges “agreed, with very little quibbling of any kind, that [it] was the most original and publishable submission we received.  We were especially impressed with the elegance with which the essay managed to be a critique both of the new materialisms and of the McCarthy novel.” 

Oliver’s essay argues that Blood Meridian represents the history of settler colonial violence in the form of a productive materialism or “object-oriented” aesthetic, and that in so doing forecloses a view of colonialism as a structure of capitalist violence. By representing settler colonial domination in positive terms as an “event” or “stage” of violence rather than in negative terms as a structure of dispossession, what Marx called “primitive accumulation,” McCarthy’s novel participates in a politics of neoliberal recognition whereby settler subjects of today “recognize” and reconcile colonialist violence of the past as a way not to acknowledge the role it still plays in contemporary forms of global capitalism that continue to dispossess and bring violence against Indigenous peoples of the world.

Oliver recently completed his third year as a PhD student in American Literary Studies. After passing his comprehensive exams last spring, Oliver is now working toward defending his dissertation prospectus after which he will begin his dissertation work this coming fall. 

More information about Mediations and the MLG can be found here: