SHL Hangout: Narrating Traumas: Creation of Comics by Heritage Learners

Presentation Title: Narrating Traumas: Creation of Comics by Heritage Learners
When: Monday, October 16, 2023 at 5pm (CST)
Where: Zoom—Register here
Description: Many studies have highlighted the prominence and appeal of using comics as second language learning tools pointing principally to the comics’ casual speech and image-to-text format to engage students with the language on a dynamic level. In this presentation, I explore how the creation of comics can be especially beneficial for heritage learners as students develop visual and narrative abilities but can also serve to reflect and transmit trauma, memory, and emotions.

Comics’ unique spatial layout and temporalities allow students to choose text, objects, characters, and panels carefully to negotiate the story and the narrative’s structure and representation.  Comics’ creation demands planning, idea organization, language succinctness, and grammar, among other things; if the comic has a testimonial component, it can also be a visual and written documentation of a forgotten or marginalized experience. In this presentation, I give examples of the comics my students created through the Pixton platform and the pre and post-activities used in this teaching unit.

Presenter: Sandra Bernal Heredia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Spanish at Colby College. Her area of specialization is Latin American literature and culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with a focus on Andean, Urban and Popular Culture studies. Sandra completed her Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, with a Graduate Portfolio in Native American and Indigenous Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her book manuscript “Sonidos e imágenes heterogéneas” looks at an array of literary texts, musical performances, audiovisual sources, and popular representations, to analyze socio-cultural identity patterns that constitute mestizo and indigenous identities in Lima, Peru. Her new research project analyzes the intersectionality of gender and ethnicity in superhero comic books. In this, Sandra compares the portrayal of the first Peruvian female superhero, La Chola Power, and Navajo superhero Ayla-The Monster Slayer, whose adventure occurs in post-apocalyptic spaces and presents an intersection between narratives of environmental humanistic climate change and indigenous resilience. Through her work with indigenous comics, Sandra is also exploring the use of comics in language pedagogy for Spanish Heritage Speakers.

Hosted by the Texas Coalition for Heritage Spanish (TeCHS) and the Center for Open Educational Resources & Language Learning (COERLL) at UT Austin