Distinguished Speaker Series
Germantown Academy is pleased to welcome our next guest in the Head of School's Distinguished Speaker Series - professor, author, comic artist, curator, Harvard Fellow, and 2018 Eisner Winner - John Jennings. Mr. Jennings' discussion, Reimagining Black Futures: Art & Resistance, will include several books that he has written and/or illustrated, including the New York Times bestselling graphic novel version of Octavia Butler's Kindred. We are delighted to have Mr. Jennings join us for this special presentation coinciding with our school’s annual celebration of Black History Month.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Jennings is a Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Riverside (UCR). Professor Jennings received his MA in Art Education in 1995 and a Masters in Fine Arts in Studio with a focus on Graphic Design in 1997 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is an interdisciplinary scholar who examines the visual culture of race in various media forms including film, illustrated fiction, and comics and graphic novels. Jennings is also a curator, graphic novelist, editor, and design theorist whose research interests include the visual culture of Hip Hop, Afrofuturism and politics, Visual Literacy, Horror and the EthnoGothic, and Speculative Design and its applications to visual rhetoric. Jennings is the curator of a new line of graphic novels, Megascope, whose mission is to publish books that visualize new diverse narratives through the comics medium. Jennings is co-editor of the Eisner Award winning collection The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art (Rutgers) and co-founder/organizer of The Schomburg Center's Black Comic Book Festival in Harlem. He is co-founder and organizer of the MLK NorCal's Black Comix Arts Festival in San Francisco and SOL-CON: The Brown and Black Comix Expo at the Ohio State University. Significant projects include the New York Times bestselling graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler's Kindred (with Damian Duffy), Tony Medina's police brutality themed ghost story I Am Alphonso Jones (with Stacey Robinson), and his Hoodoo Noir graphic novella Blue Hand Mojo (Rosarium Publishing). His most recent work is Parable of the Sower, a graphic adaptation of Octavia Butler’s dystopian novel. Jennings is a Nasir Jones Hip Hop Studies Fellow at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. He has also earned the Skipping Stone Honor Award, Eisner Award for Best Adaptation, Eisner Award for Best Scholarly/Academic Work in Comics, the Bram Stoker/LOCUS Award for Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel, and a host of other awards.