I am pleased and honored to have the opportunity to present my paper: A relationship between Harlem Renaissance painter Jacob Lawrence and comic book structure and theory at the 2014 National Popular Culture & American Culture Conference which will be held at the Chicago Marriott Downtown in Chicago, IL from April 16-19. I will be presenting in the “Comics and Comic Art” area.

Here is the abstract for the paper I will be delivering:

When looking at the influence that comics have had on culture in America attention is drawn to popular film, TV and radio adaption but, the influence of comics also played a part in fine art notably during the pop-art movement with Roy Lichtenstein. Comics may have had an influence on the early work of the fine artist Jacob Lawrence, who wove narrative together between sequential images and text. Lawrence was a pioneer of African-American art during the late Harlem Renaissance. In a number of early works, Jacob Lawrence acted as a Griot – historically an African storyteller, by describing some of the heroes of the African- American experience. Celebrated as one of the great American painters of the 20th century, little discussion is made about the relevance of his work in the field of sequential art studies. Lawrence may be an under-valued artist within the scholarship of sequential art. By reviewing Jacob Lawrence’s art through the lens of comic structure and theory, a stronger connection can be surmised between his art and that of the history of comics, expanding the relationship that popular culture and fine art share.