Michael Harrison

Dr Michael Harrison

San Diego Mesa College (USA), Department of Languages

Member, Faculty Advisory Board, Pterodáctilo: Graduate Student Review, University of Texas, Austin

Modern Language Association

Pacific, Ancient & Modern Language Association

AATSP:  American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese

Institute for Comics Studies

Popular Culture Association

Founding member, Comics Studies Scholarly Interest Group, Society for Cinema and Media Studies

Contact Details


Telephone: 619-388-2203

Postal address: School of Arts & Languages, #G-248, 7250 Mesa College Dr., San Diego, CA 92123

Website: (university staff page)

Biography and Research Interests

Dr. Michael Harrison is Assistant Professor of Spanish at Mesa College in San Diego, California, USA. He completed his Ph.D. in Spanish at the University of California, Irvine in 2009, with a dissertation entitled: Comics as Text and Comics as Culture: Queer Spain through the Lens of a Marginalized Medium which examines cultural, political and social discourses of sexual and gender identity and queer sexual citizenship in post-Franco Spain as represented by the medium of comics and related comics iconography. It pays special attention to the distinct issues allowed by the comics medium such as visual representations of gender identity, institutionalized homophobia, and current sociopolitical issues such as gay marriage and adoption through an examination of elements unique to the medium such as the subversion of comics conventions and the use of superhero iconography in broader literature.

In 2012, while teaching at Monmouth College, Prof. Harrison developed a course in the college’s Integrated Studies curriculum entitled: “Great Powers and Great Responsibilities: Superheroes, Philosophy and Identity” which used superhero texts as a means to understanding the “big questions of life” including patriotism, gender, morality, ethics, marginalization, immigration and sexuality among others.

Research interests: 20th / 21st Century Peninsular Spanish Comics, Popular Culture/Media Studies (comics, television), Spanish Cultural Studies, Film Studies / Spanish Film, Queer Theory / Gender Theory , Superhero Studies


Hagley, Annika and Michael Harrison. “Fighting the Battles We Never Could: The Avengers and Post-September 11 American Political Identities.” PS: Political Science and Politics 47.1 (2014).

“From Panel to Page: Queer Superhero Iconography in the Poetry of Álvaro Tato and the Narrative of Lluís Fernàndez.” Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts 22.3 (2011): 347-362.

“The Queer Spaces and Fluid Bodies of Nazario’s Anarcoma.” Postmodern Culture 19.3 (2009): n. pag. Web.

Comics as Text and Comics as Culture: Queer Spain through the Lens of a Marginalized Medium. Doctoral Dissertation, University of California, Irvine. June, 2009.

Conference Papers and Talks

Invited Lectures

“Transitions, Transformations, and Triumphs: The Emergence of Queer Culture in Post-Franco Spain.” Knox College, Galesburg, IL. November 5, 2009.

Conference Presentations

“Queering Comic Spaces in Manuel,”“Queer About Comics: On Working at the Intersections of Queer Theory and Comics Studies.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies National Conference, Chicago, IL. March 6-10, 2013.

“La princesa fingida y el pirata valiente: Lo fantástico en el cómic queer español.” Visiones de lo Fantástico en la Cultura Española Contemporánea: I Congreso Internacional sobre lo Fantástico en Narrativa, Teatro, Cine, Televisión, Cómic y Videojuegos , Grupo de Estudios sobre lo Fantástico de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. November 19-21, 2012.

 “La intimidad en la confesión gráfica: La autobiografía queer española.” Primer Congreso Internacional sobre Cómic y Novela Gráfica (First International Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels: “Sites of Visual and Textual Innovation”), Instituto Franklin – University of Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, Spain. November 9th-12th, 2011.

“Space Pirates and Lemon Lovers: Fantasy in Contemporary Queer Spanish Comics.” 19th Annual International Comics Arts Conference, San Diego. July 21-24, 2011.

“Graphic Narratives Making (a) Difference: Queer Spanish Comics of Engagement.” XX Congreso Anual de la Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica (XX Annual Conference of the   International Association of Hispanic Women’s Literature and Culture), Austin, TX. October 14-16, 2010.

“Transformations, Masks and Dual Identities: Queer Superhero Imagery in Contemporary Spanish Literature.” Understanding Superheroes Conference, University of Oregon. October 23-24, 2009

“From Panel to Page ‐ Superheroes and Comic Iconography in Contemporary Queer Spanish Texts.” Queer Iconography: Third Annual LGBT Symposium, Hofstra University. November 7-8, 2008.

“Superheroes as Iconic Imagery in Contemporary Spanish Poetry.” XXXIV Congreso Anual de Literaturas Hispánicas, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. October 17-18, 2008.

“Visual Construction of Identity (Gender/Sexual/National) in Contemporary Spanish Gay Comics.” 16th Annual International Comics Arts Conference, San Diego. July 23-27, 2008.

“‘Sightseeing’ in Chuecatown: A Visual Study of the New Spanish Queer Comic.” 17th Western Regional LGBTQIA College Conference: “Out of the Rainbow & Into the Streets.” UC, Riverside. February 16-18, 2007.


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