Pulp Culture Comic Arts Festival and Symposium



Julian Chambliss

The Evolution of the Dream:
Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Comic Imaginary

October 27, 2018

Fleming Auditorium (Room 101)
Fleming Museum
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT

free and open to the public

On the evening of October 27, 2017 the Pulp Culture Comic Arts Festival and Symposium presents a talk by Michigan State University English Professor, Julian C. Chambliss.

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How do the weighty concerns of race and society in the pages of Between the World and Me and the fantastic adventures of Marvel Comic’s Black Panther and Captain America align?

For Ta-Nehisi Coates, both provide an opportunity to explore the construction of American culture. At once powerfully recognizable and deceptively normative, comic book adventures offer a way for Coates to investigate the expectations linked to the American experience.

In this talk, I will discuss how concerns about power and community that inform his journalistic writing shape his approach to comic book writing.

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Julian C. Chambliss is Professor of English with a Joint Appointment in History at Michigan State University. In addition, he is a core participant in the MSU College of Arts & Letters’ Consortium for Critical Diversity in a Digital Age Research (CEDAR). His research interests focus on the race, identity, and power in real and imagined urban spaces. His recent writing has appeared in Frieze, Rhetoric Review, Boston Review, Florida Historical Quarterly, Journal of Urban History and Studies in American. An interdisciplinary scholar he has designed museum exhibitions, curated art shows, and created public digital history projects that trace community, identity, and power in the American South.  In addition, he has published opinion and commentary in popular forums such as the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio (NPR), and Orlando Sentinel.  He is a co-recipient of an Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) Mellon Foundation Faculty Renewal Grant for Project Mosaic: Zora Neale Hurston: A Multidisciplinary Exploration of African-American Culture, a project exploring African-American experience through the work and life of Zora Neale Hurston, ACS Faculty Advancement Grant for Urban Dreams and Urban Disruptions: Transforming Travel Study and Undergraduate Archival Research with Collaborative Interdisciplinary Digital Tools and ACS/R1 Grant for designing a Digital Literacy and Collaborative Learning workshop.  He is co-editor and contributor for Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men: Superheroes and the American Experience, a book examining the relationship between superheroes and the American Experience (2013). His newest books, Assembling the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Essays on the Social, Cultural and Geopolitical Domain (2018) explore questions of culture, identity, and politics in the MCU and Cities Imagined: The African Diaspora in Media and History (2018) is a thematic reader that documents the African-American imaginary through primary and secondary sources focus on media and culture.


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 Fleming Museum, University of Vermont and the Vermont Folklife Center

Sponsors: College of Arts and Sciences, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, UVM Humanities Center, Department of English and the Department of Classics

2018 Organizing Committee

Isaac Cates (English), Dan Fogel (English), Glynnis Fawkes (Cartoonist), Andy Kolovos (Vermont Folklife Center), Margaret Tamulonis (Fleming Museum) and Stephanie Zuppo (Cartoonist)