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Where Comics and Academia Cross Paths at OU-Tulsa

Where Comics and Academia Cross Paths at OU-Tulsa

Detail image academic books about comics on a shelf

OU-Tulsa’s Schusterman Library Director Stewart Brower loves comics and has for most of his life. With a personal collection of nearly 4,000 issues, he has always understood the special power that comics have to convey ideas – both through fiction and nonfiction.

“The power of comics comes from their ability to draw on both images and text to do things that neither of them can do completely on their own,” Brower said. “It creates a means by which to convey ideas and information that is completely unique as an art form.

This semester, through the class Comics and Graphic Novels for the School of Library and Information Studies at OU-Tulsa, he is sharing a broad understanding of comics to a larger audience and informing students about the intersection between comics and academia.

The Schusterman Library also has announced its new Graphic Scholarship Collection – a curated selection of mostly nonfiction comic works.  

“Graphic scholarship is the idea that nonfiction can be delivered in a unique way through the comics media,” Brower said.

His stated working definition of graphic scholarship is any scholarly communications in the form of comics or cartoons, including adaptations of works of science, medicine, social sciences, arts and humanities, biography or history.

While the collection is currently small, the library will be building it out over the coming months.

By Bonnie Rucker

Article Published:  Wednesday, April 7, 2021