SAU College of Arts & Sciences Academic Theme: Visual Narratives


The 11th Annual SAU College of Arts and Sciences academic theme Visual Narratives kicks off this fall with events, activities, exhibitions, lectures and more, to explore storytelling in its many forms. 

Drawing upon multiple interdisciplinary modes of production and performance - including comics, film, theatre, printmaking, photography, and dance - the theme will explore ways in which visual narratives engage with contemporary and historical realities.

"Visual Narratives is storytelling through images," said theme co-coordinator Arturo Meijide Lapido, PhD, associate professor and department chair of Modern Languages and Cultures.

For the past year, he and co-coordinator Brittany Tullis, PhD, an associate professor in Modern Languages and Cultures, have worked with a committee to coordinate the 2018-19 project series and events to be hosted by departments and programs throughout the university.

The title, Visual Narratives, was chosen very carefully, Lapido said.

"It is meant to be flexible, because what is a story and what is an image can mean very different things to different people. It was intentionally left open for that reason," he said. "Everyone has a story to tell, and it doesn't just have to be told within the humanities. We want to include everyone and everything."

Events planned or already scheduled include a comic convention, conferences, film festival, theatre performances, concerts, and more. The biology program is planning an exhibition of micro-photos, Lapido said. "That is really exciting, and it is also telling a story."

The theme also will expand into social media and other online opportunities as a way to create an interactive dialogue with students. "Having students involved and engaged is one of our main goals," he said.

Lapido said the theme was sparked by a desire to host the International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF) at St. Ambrose in April 2019, and the project series was built around that event.

The ICAF is the most important academic conference in the field, he said. The event will include 40 presentations by scholars from around the world, several panel discussions, and five or more special guests who are "big names in the comics world," he said.

More information on the special guests and presenters will be announced in the near future. Click here for the listing of 2018-19 academic project series events.

"We welcome people to create and bring ideas to us throughout the year, as we will continue to develop the project theme and add events," Lapido said.

"In an ideal world, the theme and all of the activities will help us think about what we do, and help us find creative new ways of doing what we do. This is not a one time theme, but an opportunity to continually evolve," he added.

Everyone has a story to tell, and it doesn't just have to be told within the humanities. We want to include everyone and everything.

Arturo Meijide Lapido, PhD, associate professor and department chair of Modern Languages and Cultures

As members of the 2018-19 Project Series Committee, these faculty, staff and students spent the past year organizing and planning all of the associated events:

  • Paige Nagle, Advancement
  • Joseph Lappie, Art
  • Ethan Gannaway, Art History
  • Terri Switzer, Art History & Museum Studies Program
  • Neil Aschliman, Biology
  • Bill Hixon, Biology
  • Joshua Sides, Esports 
  • Chris Reno, Catich Gallery
  • Sallee Beneke, Early Education
  • Ryan Dye, International Education
  • Sarah Eikleberry, Kinesiology
  • Joyce Haack, Library
  • Karly Lyle, Library
  • Onnica Marquez, Library
  • Kate Horberg, Master of Public Health
  • Melissa Sharer, Master of Public Health
  • Lisa Thimm, Math
  • Marian Lee, Music 
  • Joseph Hebert, Political Science
  • Sophia Pierce, Student Activities
  • Daniel Rairdin-Hale, Theatre
  • Katy Strzepek, Women and Gender Studies
  • Students JJ Harris & Kylie Flynn, Co-Presidents of Art History Club
  • Vickie Logan, College of Arts and Sciences

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