Alison Bechdel

Graduation Office
Tuesday 28 May 2024

Alison Bechdel is to be awarded DLitt on Thursday 13 June during the afternoon graduation ceremony.

Alison Bechdel is an American cartoonist whose work includes the pioneering comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, from which emerged the ‘Bechdel Test’, now an international benchmark for assessing gender bias in film.

Alison Bechdel

Alison was appointed Vermont’s third Cartoonist Laureate in 2017, recognising her significant contributions to the field of cartooning. She is the recipient of Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships, and two Eisner Comic Industry Awards.

Alison’s work is notable for expanding the expressive potential and conceptual depth of graphic storytelling. In 2006, she received an invitation to join the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, a testament to her linguistic expertise and influence in the literary community.

Her cartoons began to reach a broader audience with the publication of her book-length graphic memoirs. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is about her childhood spent in the family funeral home and her relationship with her father, while Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama explores her relationship with her mother as seen through the lens of psychoanalytic theory. Fun Home was adapted into a musical that premiered on Broadway in 2015 and won five Tony Awards.

In 2012, Alison held the prestigious position of Mellon Residential Fellow for Arts and Practice at the Richard and Mary L Gray Center at the University of Chicago, where she co-taught the course ‘Lines of Transmission: Comics and Autobiography’ alongside Professor Hillary Chute.

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