Criminology Comics Lecture Set for March 15

A New Take on Visual Learning

Krista Gehring, an associate professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Houston-Downtown, was trying to come up with an innovative way to explain complex concepts to students. According to an article on the UHD website, she first considered video.

But as a longtime comic fan, she soon realized that the best medium for conveying the information in a visual medium was one she already knew quite well. The result is CrimComics, a series of graphic-novel-type works she uses to teach criminological theories in the undergraduate classroom.

Gehring will bring examples of CrimComics to an upcoming Bernardin Haskell Lecture at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The program is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. March 15 in the Miller Nichols Learning Center, Room 452, and is free and open to the public. The lecture will include an audience question-and-answer segment, and samples of CrimComics will be awarded.

“She is an engaging speaker, and we are excited to showcase this innovative work, which we believe will be interesting to our students, and students in Art and Art History,” said Prof. Kristi Holsinger, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. UMKC’s Department of Art and Art History is co-sponsoring the lecture along with Criminal Justice and Criminology.

CrimComics, a collaboration by Gehring and illustrator Michael R. Batista, is published by Oxford University Press. Using the comic format to explore serious subjects is not unprecedented. Maus, a graphic novel by cartoonist Art Spiegelman that portrayed the Holocaust as an allegory with Jews as mice and Nazis as cats, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.

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