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Professional Development for Secondary Educators: Words and Pictures


Event Status

Comics get a bad rap sometimes – the supposedly ‘easy’ visual sidekick to more demanding literary prose. But a growing field of scholarship focuses on the decoding skills required to create narrative meaning out of the relationship between text and image. Comics and graphic novels can reinforce critical literacy skills and transform the ways we tell and engage with stories.

In this professional development session for secondary school teachers, Dr Elizabeth MacFarlane will discuss her research into visualising narrative conventions in comics and using graphic narratives in the classroom. MacFarlane will be joined by local comic artists Rachel Ang and Sarah Firth, who will share their experiences learning from, and creating, visual narratives.

This session will be presented over Zoom.


Rachel Ang

Rachel Ang is an artist and writer who makes comics. Their work has been published by The New Yorker, The Washington Post, kuš! and Australian periodicals like The Age and Meanjin. Rachel’s first book, Swimsuit (Glom Press, 2018) was not read by many people, but those who did really liked it. The... Read more

Sarah Firth

Sarah Firth (she/her) is based on Wurundjeri Country, Melbourne, Australia. She’s an Eisner Award-winning and Ignatz nominated cartoonist, artist and writer, speaker and internationally renowned graphic recorder. Her work has been published by ABRAMS Books, ABC Arts, Frankie Magazine, kuš!, Graph... Read more

Elizabeth MacFarlane

Dr Elizabeth MacFarlane is a writer and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne where she teaches Short Fiction, Graphic Narratives and Thinking Writing: Theory and Creativity. She is co-director of graphic novel publishing house Twelve Panels Press, and co-directed artist... Read more

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