Current Projects

Keywords for Comics Studies is forthcoming from New York University Press in 2019!

Co-Editors Ramzi Fawaz, Shelley Streeby, and Deborah Whaley

From our book proposal: "The 2015-2016 academic year signaled a renaissance in comics studies unprecedented in the history of humanities scholarship in the U.S...Certainly, comics studies is not a new field, emerging as far back as Gilbert Seldes’s classic 1957 study of American popular culture The Seven Lively Arts, and most explicitly with the publication of Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art in 1993. Yet the recent exponential growth of comics scholarship and intellectual community points to the field’s newfound relevance to a range of disciplines in the humanities, including media and cultural studies, art history, women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, American Studies, history, anthropology and beyond. Quite simply, this renaissance in comics studies is in large part due to the field’s increasing interdisciplinarity, and the daring scholarship of a new generation of researchers who have explored the medium’s unique formal properties in direct relation to its distinct historical, political, and cultural contexts of production and circulation. Some of the field’s most classical debates regarding the value of lowbrow cultural forms, the distinct formal and aesthetic affordances of hand-drawn and sequential art, the effects of print circulation and the development of non-traditional and youth audiences, have either been placed into new contexts, or else revalued for their generative insights into the reading experience...We believe that a Keywords for Comics Studies volume shaped by an interdisciplinary cultural studies vision can provide scholars and non-academic readers with a wide range of terms that speak to the formal and historical specificities of the medium, while also showing how the key aesthetic, political, and cultural questions comics raise have wide-reaching relevance to the humanities."


I am currently completing a new book called Speculative Archives: Science Fiction, World-Making, and the Art of Memory

This project grows out of my ongoing research on addressing disparities in society, especially disparities of class, race and education, through science fiction, interdisciplinary science studies, archival research, and work with communities connected to those archives. This is a multi-sited project for which I am doing extensive research and interviewing in Toronto, Canada; the Pacific Northwest (Eugene and Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington); and the greater Los Angeles and Southern California area, including UCSD. The research is on the most important archives left behind by female science fiction writers and their connections to different physical and virtual, including digital, communities located in these sites and in other parts of the world.  These include the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation, and Fantasy, at the University of Toronto, the largest collection held by a public university, organized by the speculative fiction author and anthologist Judith Merril, which includes extensive materials connected to Merril’s collaborative project of translating Japanese science fiction. The second set of sites in the Pacific Northwest include dozens of collections of the papers of multiple feminist science fiction writers, notably the late Ursula K. LeGuin, at the Knight Library at the University of Oregon in Eugene and in collections at Portland State University and at the University of Washington in Seattle. My third site is southern California and includes the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, which holds the papers of Octavia E. Butler, as well as the Clarion archive at UCSD. In each site, I am conducting research about gender, class, race, education, environmentalism, feminist science, and imagining other worlds as well as interviewing and collaborating with archivists, activists, educators, scholars, and artists who are using these archives to connect science fiction world-making to larger community-based projects. 


"Queer Hemisphere: America Queer" UCHRI Research Group

Kirstie A. Dorr, Ethnic Studies, UC San Diego
Deborah R. Vargas, Ethnic Studies, UC Riverside
Marcia Ochoa, Feminist Studies, UC Santa Cruz

Christina Leon, School of Writing, Literature, and Film, Oregon State University
Justin Perez, Anthropology, UC Irvine
Ivan Ramos, Ethnic Studies, UC Riverside
Shelley Streeby, Ethnic Studies, UC San Diego
Jennifer Tyburczy, Feminist Studies, UC Santa Barbara

Convened by Professors Kirstie A. Dorr, Ethnic Studies, UC San Diego and Deborah R. Vargas, Ethnic Studies, UC Riverside, and Marcia Ochoa, Feminist Studies, UC Santa Cruz, this residency aims to cultivate an interdisciplinary, multilingual dialogue between Latin America queer theory/sexuality studies and US women/queer of color feminisms. By applying geo-political pressure to ‘queer’ as an analytical category, the goal is to generate more textured accounts of and nuanced dialogues about how gender and sexual alterity are racially produced, lived and circulated in distinct, yet imbricated sites and contexts throughout the Americas. To counter the uncritical mainstreaming of US queer theory as centered site and presumed subject of study, their inquiry will address how current debates within the field concerning tensions between the rural and the urban, the public and the private, the center and the periphery, the productive and the reproductive, or the state and civil society might be differently and differentially articulated from queer and feminist of color perspectives that attend to both the geo-cultural specificities and the geo-historical entanglements that inflect relational scales of racial/sexual management.