UVM Marsh Professor-at-Large Program
Pulp Culture Comic Arts Festival and Symposium
A CONVERSATION WITH ALISON BECHDEL
October 21, 2017
Fleming Auditorium (Room 101)
University of Vermont
free and open to the public
Join us for the capstone event of our Pulp Culture Comic Arts Festival and Symposium at 6pm on October 21, 2017 - a live interview with comics legend and MacArthur Fellow, Alison Bechdel.
Alison Bechdel’s comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For became a countercultural institution among lesbians and discerning non-lesbians all over the planet. And her more recent, darkly humorous graphic memoirs about her family have forged an unlikely intimacy with an even wider range of readers.
Bechdel self-syndicated Dykes to Watch Out For for twenty-five years, from 1983 to 2008. The award-winning generational chronicle has been called “one of the pre-eminent oeuvres in the comics genre, period.” (Ms. magazine)
In 2006 she published Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. Time magazine named it the Best Book of 2006, describing the recursive investigation into her closeted bisexual father’s suicide “a masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other.” Fun Home was adapted into a musical by the playwright Lisa Kron and the composer Jeanine Tesori. It opened on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theater on April 19, 2015, and won five Tony Awards, including "Best Musical."
In her work, Bechdel is preoccupied with the overlap of the political and the personal spheres, the relationship of the self to the world outside. Her 2012 memoir Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama delved into not just her relationship with her own mother, but the theories of the 20th century British psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott. In the New York Times Book Review, Katie Roiphe wrote, “There’s a lucidity to Bechdel’s work that in certain ways … bears more resemblance to poetry than to the dense, wordy introspection of most prose memoirs. The book delivers lightning bolts of revelation, maps of insight and visual snapshots of family entanglements in a singularly beautiful style.”
Alison’s comics have appeared in The New Yorker, Slate, McSweeney’s, The New York Times Book Review, and Granta. In 2014 she was named a MacArthur Fellow.
Fleming Auditorium is located in basement of the Fleming Museum on the campus of the University of Vermont. On weekends parking is available in any of the Faculty and Staff lots on campus.
Presented by the University of Vermont and the Vermont Folklife Center
Sponsored by Fleming Museum, Carolyn and Leonard Miller Center for Holocaust Studies, Department of German and Russian, Jewish Studies Program, Dan and Carole Burack Distinguished Lecture Series, University of Vermont Humanities Center, Mollie Ruprecht Fund for Visual Arts, UVM Marsh Professor-at-Large Program, Larner College of Medicine, Global and Regional Studies, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, UVM Honors College, Center for Research on Vermont, UVM Departments of Anthropology, English, Geography, History, Romance Languages and Linguistics, and Vermont Humanities Council, Vermont Arts Council and the Center for Cartoon Studies.
Isaac Cates (English), Glynnis Fawkes (Cartoonist), Anthony Grudin (Art and Art History), Andy Kolovos (Vermont Folklife Center), Jonah Steinberg (Anthropology) and Margaret Tamulonis (Fleming Museum).