Boston University

April 11–13, 2008

Co-organized by Christine Hoff Kraemer (PhD, Boston University, 2007) and
A. David Lewis (PhD candidate in Religion and Literature, Boston University)

From the performance of religion in comics, to religious or mythic traditions among the elements of various works, to the use of comics by religious practitioners themselves, the relationship between comics and religion is dynamic and evolving. Given the increasing seriousness with which the public has come to view comics as an art form and Americans’ fraught but passionate relationship with religion, “Graven Images” will provide an opportunity for discussion of cutting- edge artistic and social issues by exploring the roles of religion in comic books and graphic novels. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact conference organizer A. David Lewis at

Co-sponsored by:
The New England-Maritimes American Academy of Religion
The Boston University Graduate Student Organization
The Boston University Department of Religion, and Caption Box

All conference events will be held in room 201 on the second floor of the Elie Wiesel
Center for Judaic Studies
, located at 147 Bay State Road (entrance on Sherborn

Friday, April 11

Keynote Address
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

James Sturm, Center for Cartoon Studies
Xeric Award and Eisner Award-winning author of
The Golem’s Mighty Swing and
James Sturm’s America: God, Gold, and Golems

The lecture will be followed by a light reception. Copies of Mr. Sturm's works will be
available for purchase at the reception.


Saturday, April 12

Opening Remarks
8:30 am – 9:00 am

Panel 1: Missionizing with Comics
9:00 am – 10:30 am

"Liber Corpus: Grant Morrison's Reflexive Relationship with his Invisibles"
Megan Goodwin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill     

"A Hesitant Embrace: Comic Books and Evangelicals"
Kate Netzler, Boston University

"From Bambi to Buddha: Manga’s Amazing Spiritual Search"
Rene Javellana, Boston College

Panel 2: Literary Applications of Religion
10:45 am – 11:45 am

"London as Sacred and Desecrated Space(s) in Alan Moore’s From Hell"
Emily Merriman, San Francisco State University

"Eros and Visuality: On Blankets, Caves, and Theological Desire"
Steve Jungkeit, Yale University

Lunch Break
11:45 am - 1:30 pm

Panel 3: Judaism and Identity
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

"Representing Jewish Identities in Joann Sfar’s Graphic Novel The Rabbi’s Cat"
Marla Harris, independent scholar

"Three Faces of the Comic Book Rabbi"
Laurence Roth, Susquehanna University

"Why Not, in Time, a Judeo-American?"
Vincent Gonzalez, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Panel 4: Comics and Pedagogy
3:15 pm - 4:45 pm

"'To Learn of Magic is Not Hard': Teaching Tarot in Comics"
Jason Winslade, Northwestern University

"American Catholic Citizenship: Prescriptions for Children from Treasure Chest of
Fun and Fact
Anne Blankenship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"Religion & Comics: Theoretical Connections and Pedagogical Benefits in an
Undergraduate Honors Seminar"
Darby Orcutt, North Carolina State University

Sandman Round-Table
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Emily Ronald, Boston University
Josh Cohen, Mass College of Art & Design


Sunday, April 13

Panel 5: Scripture and Theology
9:00 am - 10:45 am

"Gold Plates, Inked Pages: The Authority of Graphic Storytelling"
Graham Stott, Arab American University - Jenin

"Killing the Graven God"
Andrew Tripp, Boston University

"The Devil’s Reading: Revelation and Revenge in the Comics "
Aaron Ricker Parks, McGill University

"Puritanism in Spandex: Puritan Ideological Apotheosis into Popular Culture
Superheroes and Villains"
Nicholas Yanes, Florida State University          

Creator Q&A
11:00 am - 12:30 pm

A. David Lewis (The Lone and Level Sands, Some New Kind of Slaughter)
Saurav Mohapatra (India Authentic, The Sadhu: The Silent Ones, Devi volume 2)
Steve Ross (Marked!)
Mark Smylie (Artesia series; Publisher of The Long Count and The Secret History)
G. Willow Wilson (Cairo)

Closing Remarks
12:30 pm – 12:45 pm

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