Comics and Medicine Conference:
The Ways We Work


August 16-19, 2018

Keynote Speaker:
David Macaulay

Macaulay is perhaps best known for the award-winning international bestseller The Way Things Work. This brilliant and highly accessible guide to the workings of machines was dubbed “a superb achievement” by the New York Times and became a New York Times bestseller. Using a humorous woolly mammoth to illustrate principles, Macaulay offers even the least technically minded reader a window of understanding into the complexities of today’s technology. He uses this same humorous approach and uncanny ability to explain complicated systems in The Way We Work, which tackles the most intricate machine of all: the human body.

David Macaulay’s detailed illustrations and sly humor have earned him fans of all ages. His books have sold more than three million copies in the United States alone, and his work has been translated into a dozen languages. His many awards include the Caldecott Medal and Honor Awards, the Boston Globe Horn Book Award, the Christopher Award, and the Washington Post Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award. He was a two-time nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award and received the Bradford Washburn Award, presented by the Museum of Science in Boston to an outstanding contributor to science.

In 2006 he was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, given “to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations.” As “an individual of distinction in the field of children’s literature,” Macaulay delivered the esteemed 2008 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, an honor bestowed on him by the American Library Association.

Keynote Speaker: Susan Merrill Squier

Susan Merrill Squier is Brill Professor Emerita of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and English at Pennsylvania State University and Einstein Visiting Fellow, Freie Universität, Berlin, where she is part of the PathoGraphics Project examining the relationship between illness narratives and works of graphic medicine. Squier’s many books include Epigenetic Landscapes: Drawing as Metaphor (Duke, 2017), Graphic Medicine Manifesto (2015), Liminal Lives: Imagining the Human at the Frontiers of Biomedicine (2004), Babies in Bottles: Twentieth-Century Visions of Reproductive Technology, and Poultry Science, Chicken Culture: A Partial Alphabet. She has been scholar in residence at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin; the Zentrum für Literatur-und Kulturforschung, Berlin; The Bellagio Study and Conference Center, Italy; Visiting Distinguished Fellow, LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia; and Fulbright Senior Research Scholar, Melbourne, Australia. She is a section editor of Reproductive BioMedicine and Society and a member of the editorial boards of Configurations, Literature and Medicine, and Journal of the Medical Humanities.  Her co-edited special issue of Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science and Technology on “Graphic Medicine” was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2014, and with Dr. Ian Williams she co-edits the book series Graphic Medicine at Penn State University Press.

Keynote Speaker: Whit Taylor

Whit Taylor is a cartoonist, writer, editor, and public health educator from New Jersey. She has a BA in cultural anthropology from Brown University and received an MPH in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Boston University School of Public Health. Her comics have been published by The Nib, The New Yorker, Rosarium Publishing, BOOM!, Sparkplug Books, Kus, Ninth Art Press, Illustrated PEN, and others.



We invite the submission of a wide variety of abstracts focusing on health, medicine, and comics in any form (e.g. graphic novels and memoir, comic strips, manga, mini comics, web comics) that examine or showcase topics including, but not limited to:

  • the use of comics and cartooning for clinical interventions and teaching
  • navigating institutional headwinds
  • addressing time constraints to creative work
  • professional development and engagement with graphic medicine
  • access to funding sources
  • establishing productive collaborative relationships
  • planning and completing graphic medicine projects
  • engaging communities of care
  • work in the context of disability justice and advocacy
  • representing the ‘work’ of bodies with relation to diagnosis and treatment
  • unseen labor in treatment and care
  • spaces of creative production
  • creative labor and the tools of graphic medicine
  • outcome and efficacy research

For details on CFP, click here.

Program format

  • Panels and presentations by scholars and creators
  • Browsing The Schulz Library collection graphic novel collection
  • Informal “round table” small-group discussions
  • Hands on workshops with The Center for Cartoon Studies faculty
  • Presentation Basics workshop focused on pictorial storytelling
  • Exhibits

Please check back here for details and registration information.

About Graphic Medicine

For more information about Graphic Medicine, to see recent conference programming, visit:

Last year’s Seattle-based conference focused on “accessibility” as an aspect linking comics and health; two areas where improvements in reaching diverse audiences and creating platforms for marginalized voices are continuous and important topics of discussion.

Location & Travel Information

The Center for Cartoon Studies is located in the village of White River Junction, Vermont, in the region of the Upper Valley (NH/VT) including the Dartmouth College community.

Click here for travel and accommodations information.