We are pleased to announce an online lecture by
Matthew Levay
(Idaho State University/University of Warsaw)

The Look of the Past: Anachronism and Critique in Contemporary Comics

This lecture is going to be the a part
of the 2021/2022 Spring Edition of the
American Studies Colloquium Series.

Thursday, April 7, 2022
at 5:15 p.m.

You can get 2 OZN points for participating in this event.
Check how to collect OZN points online here.

poster by Joanna Bębenek


This lecture will be streamed online. To attend, click the button below or enter https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82406542131 into your browser, and join the meeting.



Why do so many contemporary cartoonists deliberately mimic the visual styles of early twentieth-century popular culture, producing work that appears much older than it actually is? This talk attempts to answer that question through the example of the American cartoonist Al Columbia, whose horror comics adopt and repurpose the iconography of 1920s and ‘30s-era animation through an anachronistic aesthetic that is far more critique than homage. Levay argues for Columbia’s as a vital figure in experimental comics’ fascination with anachronism as a mode for engaging with the cultural politics of comics form and the social logics that underlie them. Throughout, his talk demonstrates how the anachronistic aesthetic practiced by Columbia and other contemporary American cartoonists offers a way for artists to come to terms with their medium’s past, and to reckon with the most troubling elements of comics history in original, if unsettling ways.


Matthew Levay is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in English at Idaho State University, and he is currently in residence at the American Studies Center as the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Humanities and Social Sciences. He is the author of Violent Minds: Modernism and the Criminal, published by Cambridge University Press in 2019, and his articles have appeared in the Journal of Modern Literature, Modernism/modernity, and Modernist Cultures, among other venues. He is also the guest editor of a special issue of the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies on “Seriality,” and he now serves as the Book Review Editor of that journal. His talk this evening is from his current book-in-progress, on the formal use of anachronism in contemporary comics and graphic narratives.

Year 2021/2022

May 30: The (Early) Literature of COVID-19. Session V

May 24, 2022

This open seminar will explore initial literary responses to the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, offering participants opportunities to talk through this world-changing event. By the end of the seminar, participants should be able to not only identify but also to interpret and evaluate common features of early COVID literature within and beyond the United States.

American Studies Colloquium Series

June 2: Eat, Migrate, Love: Gastronomic and Sexual Desire as Identity

May 24, 2022

This talk, whose title plays off the Julia Robert’s film “Eat, Pray, Love,” will explore queer films and queer immigrants’ relationships to food as part of the cultural identity, and how the rituals around food preparation and consumption informs their negotiations in the US.

Year 2021/2022

June 8: Sounds of Dune(s): Music-landscaping in Cinema

May 24, 2022

In this workshop we’ll talk about Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and its many adaptations (both real and unrealized), in order to see how music and sound are used to bridge sensory gaps in cinematic experiences, and how to write about such synaesthetic encounters in our research.

Year 2021/2022

May 23: Gender/Sexuality Conference ASC

May 23, 2022

ASC’s Gender/Sexuality Research Group invites all students and faculty members to the first ASC’s Student Conference on gender and sexuality in American studies. We have an exciting day planned, with a keynote by Dr. Richard Reitsma and four panels of student presentations, on everything from feminist theories to representation of trans characters on TV and challenging the norms of masculinity.

American Studies Colloquium Series

May 19: ‘bits of agitation on the body of the whole’: Animals in COVID-19 Literature

May 19, 2022

Given its origins in horseshoe bat populations, the SARS-CoV-2 virus offers many opportunities to re-think our relationships with the nonhuman world around us. In this talk, Raymond Malewitz will explore emerging cultural narratives embodied in COVID poetry and fiction, which tend to reinforce the stiff differences between the human and the nonhuman as physically and conceptually separate from one another.