Comic Conference for Educators and Librarians: Geek-Ed Panels

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10:00–11:00 GeekEd: E-Sports, Gaming, and Playing with Gender—For generations, subcultures of gamers have fostered community and learning on college campuses and at Comic-Con International. As Esports, board games, LARP, and video games gain more mainstream attention, how can college campuses maximize the power of play to address issues of gender inside and outside the classroom? Panelists include Brian MacDonald (UCLA), Sarah Harker (UCSC), Aaron Trammell (UC Irvine), Cherie Lin (UC Berkeley), and David Surratt (University of Oklahoma).  

11:00–12:00 GeekEd: Career Advice for College Geeks—Have you ever wondered how you could earn a living during the hours spent reading comics or playing video games? Is your current major not tapping into your superpower? Come learn how these panelists used their nerdy interests in college to create a fulfilling nerdy career and what college programs and services can help students to do the same. Panelists include Alex Belisario (UCSC), Dustin Ramsdell (HigherEd Geek), and Keith Chow (Nerds of Color).  

12:00–1:00 GeekEd: Caring for the Nerd Mind—Teachers, education administrators, and student affairs professionals are being called to respond to a wide variety of mental health concerns across the education landscape, with students today managing greater educational debt, digital identities, and high expectations for academic performance. This panel of educators and mental health experts share how they have applied their passion for fandom and the lessons they've learned from superheroes to develop new best practices for promoting mental health in schools and on campuses. Panelists include Alfred Day (UC Berkeley), Andrea Letamendi (UCLA), and Brent Crandal (Chadwick Center).  

1:00–2:00 GeekEd: State of the Galaxy—The GeekEd educators first presented at Comic-Con International in 2011. In the past 8 years, GeekEd has expanded to include a collective of educators across the United States. Come hear what has changed the past 8 years in higher education, how geek identity has continued to be used as a means for connection, and how members of the original collective have continued to expand the work they have done with college students. Panelists include Emily Sandoval (USC), Maya Hernandez (UCSC), Sy Simms (UCSC), and Alfred Day (UC Berkeley).  

2:00–3:00 San Diego 2049: Worldbuilding the Future at UC San DiegoShelley Streeby (professor, UCSD, Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World-Making through Science Fiction and Activism) and Annalee Newitz (science fiction writer/journalist, Autonomous) will be joined by two teams of graduate students who imagined the future of the San Diego border region (and world beyond) through a yearlong program at UC San Diego using science fiction worldbuilding techniques and interdisciplinary collaborations. Moderated by Patrick Coleman (assistant director, Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, UCSD). The participants for the panel are: Shelley Streeby, Annalee Newitz, Patrick Coleman, Tyler Farnan (Team IntelGovNet), Courtney Geigle (Team IntelGovNet), Nathan Vieland (Team IntelGovNet), Jeanelle Horcasitas (Team Fronteras), Olivia Quintanilla (Team Fronteras), and Jonathan Walton (Team Fronteras).  

3:00–4:00 To Me, My X-Men: Superheroes, Comics, and Academic Success—From students and curricula to teacher preparation, comics have become a tool in all levels of education, especially in higher education. By focusing on comics as both a unique art form and accessible entrance point for considering broader cultural and social issues, college instructors are increasingly using comics in ways that contribute to student academic success. As such, the use of comics in college courses has begun to receive serious academic attention. Ryan Claytor (Michigan State University, Elephant Eater Comics), Rachelle Cruz (UC Riverside, Experiencing Comics), Jazmine Joyner (Women Write About Comics, The Comics MNT), and Ben Superfine (University of Illinois at Chicago) share the ways they use comics, superheroes, and creative projects to educate, engage, and contribute to the academic success of students. The panel will be moderated by Mark Martell (University of Illinois at Chicago


This program kicks off our 4th annual Comic Conference for Educators and Librarians (CCEL). Comic-Con International and San Diego Public Library have teamed up once again for this FREE five-day conference, which takes place during Comic-Con from July 17 - 21 at the Central Library. Through presentations and panel discussions, CCEL explores the role comics play in promoting education, engagement, and literacy for all ages. Library professionals and educators are invited to learn creative and exciting ways to incorporate comics and graphic novels into their work.

CCEL is free to attend, but space is limited and registration is required for each day.

Comic-Con badge-holders with valid single same-day or four-day badges are welcome to attend and are not required to register.