‘One to Watch Out For: An Afternoon with Alison Bechdel’ is Nov. 7

Cuninggim Lecture Alison BechdelAward-winning cartoonist and graphic memoirist Alison Bechdel will present Vanderbilt’s annual Cuninggim Lecture on Women in Culture and Society on Monday, Nov. 7. The event, hosted by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center, will begin at 5 p.m. in the Jean and Alexander Heard Library Community Room with a book signing by Bechdel to follow. All are invited to attend.

Please RSVP for the event. Seating is limited, and the event will not be ticketed. Seating will be first come, first seated.

Bechdel is an internationally known cartoonist whose darkly humorous graphic memoirs, astute writing and evocative drawing have forged an unlikely intimacy with a wide and disparate range of readers. From her long-running syndicated comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, the now-famous “Bechdel Test,” which measures gender bias in film, was born.

Her first graphic memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, was named the Best Book of the Year by Time, which described the tightly constructed investigation into her closeted bisexual father’s suicide as “a masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other.” Fun Home was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award and was adapted into a Broadway musical that won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Bechdel is also the author of Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama, which delves into her relationship with her mother as well as the theories of the 20th-century British psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott. Her latest work, The Secret to Superhuman Strength, was released in 2021. The Guardian called the memoir “quietly astonishing” and “extraordinarily generous.”

Bechdel was the recipient of a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 2014 she received a MacArthur “Genius” Grant. In their citation, the MacArthur Foundation noted that Bechdel “is changing our notions of the contemporary memoir and expanding the expressive potential of the graphic form.” In 2017, Bechdel was named Vermont’s third cartoonist laureate.

For more information about the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center, visit the center’s website.