Exhibitions

Confronting Violence: Critical Approaches to American Comics and Video Games

Photo by Kevin Grady, Radcliffe Staff PhotographerPhoto by Kevin Grady, Radcliffe Staff Photographer

Opening reception: Tuesday, April 7, 2015, at 4:15 p.m. in the Johnson-Kulukundis Family Gallery in Byerly Hall, 8 Garden Street in Radcliffe Yard.

From April 8 to April 17, 2015, the exhibition will be open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.


The Confronting Violence: Critical Approaches to American Comics and Video Games exhibition provides an opportunity to examine gender-based violence, misogyny, and sexist caricature in American comics, video games, and gaming culture. While there is a history of negative stereotypes and of violence perpetrated against female characters in comics and video games, there are also artists and developers actively working to produce progressive responses, some of which are represented here. To confront gender-based violence in the marketplace—both actual and of ideas—requires creativity, nuance, texture, and courage. 

Developed as part of the Radcliffe Institute conference “Confronting Violence,” this exhibition encourages visitors to formulate their own understandings and critiques of the images, stories, and activities presented. A range of materials—including comic books featuring the Lumberjanes, Ms. Marvel, and She Hulk, as well as the video game Tomb Raider—will be available for visitors to explore, understand, and assess. 

Visitors are encouraged to think critically about the materials presented and reach their own conclusions about the most effective ways to change culture and reduce violence.  

The opening event will include remarks by Janet Rich-Edwards, the conference planning committee chair. Attendees will also hear from Tony Davis, proprietor of Million Year Picnic, who will provide a historical discussion on American comics, and from Giuliana Funkhouser, production artist at Arnold Worldwide and video game industry veteran, who will set some context for the video game-related material. 

Lumberjanes, a Brooke Allen-drawn series written by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Shannon Watters, from Boom! Studios/Boom! BoxLumberjanes, a Brooke Allen-drawn series written by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Shannon Watters, from Boom! Studios/Boom! Box