​​Position: Professor Joseph M. Sommers
Campus Address: Anspach 305C
Email: somme1jm@cmich.edu

Areas of Expertise

  • Children's and Young Adult Literature,
  •  Popular Culture,
  •  Illustrated Texts (Comics, Graphic Novels & Picture Books),
  •  Late-Nineteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty First-Century Literature and Culture, 
  • Bakhtinian /Narrative Theory, Walt Whitman


ENG 101: Freshman Composition
ENG 141: Comics, Graphic Novels, and Other Ilustrated Texts 
ENG 201: Intermediate Composition 
ENG 323: Fantasy and Science Fiction 
ENG 324: Popular Culture in America
ENG 381: Children's Literature
ENG 482: Fantasy for Youth
ENG 580: Young Adult Literature
ENG 582: Cultural Pluralism in Young Adult and Children's Literature
ENG 681: Seminar in Children's and Young Adult LIterature
HON 321: Honor's Seminar
HON Study Abroad
HON Comics Study Abroad
Harry Potter Study Abroad

Degrees and Universities
Ph.D. English, University of Kansas, May 2007
Specialties: Children’s and Adolescent Literature/ American Literature

M.A. English, Marquette University, May 2002
Specialties: British/American Literature

B.S.E. Secondary English Education, Missouri Western State University, May 2000

B.A. Writing-Intensive English Journalism, Marquette University, May 1998
Recent publications


Neil Gaiman in Darkness, In Light, In Shadow. Jackson, MS: UP Mississippi (Forthcoming 2018)

Conversations with Neil Gaiman. Jackson, MS: UP Mississippi (Forthcoming 2017)

Critical Insights on Neil Gaiman, Salem Press, 2016

The American Comic Book. Jefferson, NY: Grey House Press, 2014. Print.

Co-authored with Gretchen Papazian Game On, Hollywood: The Intersection of Video Games and Movies. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2013. Print.

Co- authored with Todd Comer Sexual Ideology in the Works of Alan Moore. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012. Print.


Children's Literature Association Quarterly, Special Issue on Comics, Cartoons, and Animation, Ed. By Joeseph Micahel Sommers ( Forthcoming 2017)

Articles and Book Chapters

"Parodic Potty Humor and Superheroic Potentiality in Dav Pilkey's The Adventures of Captain Underpants." Graphic Novels for Children and Young Adults. Ed. Michelle Abate and Gwen Athene Tarbox UP-MIssissippi.

"The Wonderful Wizard of OZ: a Naturalist Story of Consumerism and Object Fetishism Re-imagined as the Great American Fairy Tale." Children's LiteratureReview. Ed. Lawrence Trudeau.(Forthcoming  2017) 

"The History of the Comics Presses." The Secret Origins of Comic Studies Ed. By Matthew J. Smith and Randy Duncan. New York: Routledge, 2017. 276-285. Print. 

"About this Volume." and "On Matters of Dreaming, World Building, and Finding Neil Gaiman's Magic." Critical Insights: Neil Gaiman. Ed. By Joseph Michael Sommers Amenia, NY: Grey House Press, 2016. vii-xxviii. Print 

"Embodied in Name Alone: Nobody Owens and the Metonymic Estrangement from the Living and the Dead in Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book." Critical Insights: Neil Gaiman. Ed. By Joseph Michael Sommers

"When the Zombies Came for Our Children: Exploring Posthumanism in Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead." The Comics Grid: Journal of Comic Scholarship 6.2 (2016) Web. 22 January 2016. 

When Comic Books Became Everything but Simply Books ...And the Fans Took Over the World (or at least San Diego)." The American Comic Book. Ed. By Joseph Michael Sommers. Jefferson, NY: Grey House Press, 2014 Print.

"Negotiating Popular Genres in Comic Books: An Impossible Mission. Against All Odds. Yet, Somehow, The Chapter is Saved!" The American Comic Book. Ed. By Joseph Michael Sommers. Jefferson, NY: Grey House Press, 2014 Print.

"The Journey Back: Whereupon There Are No Heroes With Whom to Identify." First Opinions, Second Reactions. 2 (2013) Web. 19 August 2014.

"The Phoenix and The Fireman: Dialogistic Inversion In Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451." Critical Insights on Fahrenheit 451. Ed. By Rafeeq McGiveron. NY: Grey House Publishing. 2013. 50-61. Print. 

“Manifest Narrativity: Video Games, Movies, and Art and Adaptation,”  Game On, Hollywood: The Intersection of Video Games and Movies. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2013. 8-19. Print.

“C. S. Lewis’ Manifold Mythopoeics: Towards a Reconsideration of Eschatological Time in the Construction of  the Post-World Wars Fantasy Novel for Children,” New Casebooks – C.S. Lewis: The Chronicles of  Narnia Ed. By Lance Wendy and Michelle Abate. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 90-112. Print.

“The Traumatic Revision of Marvel’s Spider-Man: From 1960s Dime-Store Comic Book  to Post-9/11 Moody  Multi-Billion Dollar Motion Picture Franchise.“ Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 37 (Summer  2012) 188-209. Print.

“Lost in the Revolution: The Polarizing of Alan Moore’s Sexual Politics,” Sexual Ideology in the Works of Alan Moore. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012. 5-15. Print.

"When ‘One Bad Day’ Becomes One Dark Knight: Love, Madness and Obsession in the Adaptation of The Killing Joke into Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight,” Sexual Ideology in the Works of Alan Moore.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012. 40-51. Print.

“Crooked Appalachia: The Laughter of the Melungeon Witches Contextualized within the Outsider Mythos of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy.“ Comics and the American South. Ed. Brannon Costello and Qiana Whitted. U Mississippi P (2011) 214-241. Print.

Co-authored with Amy Hume.  “The Other Edward: Twilight’s Queer Construction of the Vampire as an Idealized Teenage Boyfriend.” Bringing Light to Twilight: Perspectives on a Pop Culture Phenomenon. Ed. By Giselle Anatol. NY: Palgrave. 2011 153-68. Print.

“Godey’s Lady’s Book: Sarah Hale and the Construction of a Sentimental Nationalism” College Literature 37 (Summer 2010) 43-62. Print.

“’Are You There, Reader? It’s Me, Margaret’: A Reconsideration of Judy Blume’s Prose as Sororal Dialogism." Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 33 (Fall 2008) 258-279. Print.