On Thursday, February 1, 2024, in the Dumas Hall auditorium, Dr. Anne-Marie Obilade delivered a lecture on “Using the Graphic Novel in the Introduction to Literature Classroom.” Her teaching techniques with graphic novels earned her the honor of the Mississippi Humanities Teacher Award.
Dr. Obilade, an Associate Professor of English, detailed her engaging approach to teaching her students with graphic novels in a PowerPoint lecture that her peers and faculty from the English Department attended. The 2024 Public Humanities Awards ceremony and reception will be held on March 22, 2024, at the Two Mississippi Museums where Dr. Obilade will be publicly recognized.
The Chair of the Department of English, Languages, and Mass Communications, Dr. Allison Olivier, gave a heartfelt introduction before Dr. Obilade began her presentation.
“Throughout nearly two decades of service, she has touched the lives of countless faculty, students, and alumni within the Alcorn community. She is not only a beacon of knowledge, but also kindness,” said Olivier.
Dr. Obilade began her presentation by thanking all of the people who have helped her get to this point in her career. She thanked her family and Kam Ridley, the Mississippi Humanities Council Communications Manager, who sponsored the event and was present to give her the award. She also thanked her colleagues, especially Dr. Babu Patlolla, who is the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences who nominated her.
Her lecture covered the validity of graphic novels as literature. “Most people when they encounter the graphic novel the first question they ask is if it is a serious work of literature. Whether it can be taught in a university class, whether it’s standard, and is it actually something that is becoming more accepted,” Dr. Obilade said.
She referenced several graphic novels that help students learn and navigate different course material. These works include “Maus,” “Persepolis,” and “Coraline.” She referred to evidence that supports how graphic novels can make topics more accessible for students. She connects this with the graphic novel “Maus” and explains how the novel shows visuals and conversations on paper about surviving the Holocaust in a manner that is different than a traditional essay or book. Other featured topics in her lecture surrounding the advantages of graphic novels in the classroom are narration, artistic style, visual transitions, and visual thinking strategies.
The lecture ended with a Q&A and her colleagues leaving comments on how much they enjoyed the event and her teaching techniques with the use of graphic novels.
Dr. Obilade received a certificate from the Mississippi Humanities Council and will also be receiving a cash prize at the Award’s ceremony in Jackson, Mississippi.