Daniel Worden Headshot

Daniel Worden

Associate Professor

School of Art
College of Art and Design

Office Hours
Mondays / Wednesdays 2-3pm, and by appointment
Office Location

Daniel Worden

Associate Professor

School of Art
College of Art and Design


BA, Texas Christian University; MA, Ph.D., Brandeis University


Daniel Worden teaches and writes about American art, comics, print, and visual cultures. He is an Associate Professor in the College of Art & Design.

His new book, Petrochemical Fantasies: The Art & Energy of American Comics, will be published by The Ohio State University Press in August 2024. 

Daniel is the author of Neoliberal Nonfictions: The Documentary Aesthetic from Joan Didion to Jay-Z and Masculine Style: The American West and Literary Modernism, which received the Thomas J. Lyon Book Award in Western American Literary and Cultural Studies. 

He is also the editor of The Comics of R. Crumb: Underground in the Art Museum and The Comics of Joe Sacco: Journalism in a Visual World, and he co-edited the books New Directions in Print Culture Studies: Archives, Materiality, and Modern American Culture, Oil Culture, and Postmodern/Postwar--and After: Rethinking American Literature. His work on American culture, comics, literature, art, film, television, and oil has also appeared in a number of academic journals and edited volumes.

Daniel's teaching interests cover a range of topics in cultural studies and critical theory, including modernism and postmodernism, gender and sexuality in American culture, comics and graphic novels, nonfiction and documentary, Western and Southwestern arts cultures, the environmental humanities, the cultures of globalization/neoliberalism, periodical studies, and contemporary aesthetics.


Areas of Expertise

Select Scholarship

Book Chapter
Worden, Daniel. "Comics." Routledge Companion to Politics and Literature in English. Ed. Matthew Stratton. New York, NY: Routledge, 2023. 323-337. Print.
Worden, Daniel. "Can Comics Think?: Automation on The Cubicle Island." Ilan Manouach in Review: Critical Approaches to his Conceptual Comics. Ed. Pedro Moura. New York, NY: Routledge, 2023. 204-224. Print.
Worden, Daniel. "Speed Lines: Futurism and Superheroes." Comics and Modernism: History, Form, Culture. Ed. Jonathan Najarian. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2024. 184-205. Print.
Worden, Daniel. "The Legacy of Conquest in Comics: Texas History Movies, Jack Jackson, and Revision." The Divided States: Unraveling National Identity in the 21st Century. Ed. Laura J. Beard and Ricia Anne Chansky. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2023. 90-115. Print.
Worden, Daniel. "Television and Other Popular Media from the 1960s to Now." Raymond Williams at 100. Ed. Paul Stasi. London, UK: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021. 151-168. Print.
Worden, Daniel. "Plastic Man and Other Petrochemical Fantasies." Life in Plastic: Artistic Responses to Petromodernity. Ed. Caren Irr. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2021. 97-114. Print.
Worden, Daniel. "Head Shop, Punk, and Underground." Key Terms in Comics Studies. Ed. Simon Grennan, Erin La Cour, and Rik Spanjers. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021. 144, 261, 338. Print.
Worden, Daniel. "Cibopathic." An Ecotopian Lexicon. Ed. Matthew Schneider-Materson and Brent Ryan Bellamy. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2019. 42-51. Print.
Worden, Daniel. "Lit: A Memoir by Mary Karr." Disability Experiences: Memoirs, Autobiographies, and Other Personal Narratives. Ed. G. Thomas Couser and Susannah B. Mintz. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference, 2019. 396-398. Print.
Worden, Daniel. "Speculative Ecology: Rachel Carson’s Environmentalist Documentaries." Remaking Reality: U.S. Documentary Culture after 1945. Ed. Sara Blair, Joseph Entin, and Franny Nudelman. Chapel Hill, NC: U of North Carolina P, 2018. 83-98. Print.
Worden, Daniel. "Memoir." American Literature in Transition, 2000-2010. Ed. Rachel Greenwald Smith. New York, NY: Cambridge UP, 2018. 125-37. Print.
Worden, Daniel. "Oil and Corporate Personhood: Ida Tarbell's The History of the Standard Oil Company and John D. Rockefeller." Materialism and the Critique of Energy. Ed. Jeff Diamanti and Brent Ryan Bellamy. Chicago, IL: MCM P, 2018. 315-329. Print.
Worden, Daniel. "The Memoir in the Age of Neoliberal Individualism." Neoliberalism and Contemporary Literary Culture. Ed. Mitchum Huehls and Rachel Greenwald Smith. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017. 160-177. Print.
Worden, Daniel. "Texas." Fueling Culture: 101 Words for Energy and Environment. Ed. Imre Szeman, Jennifer Wenzel, and Patricia Yaeger. New York, NY: Fordham University Press, 2017. 349-352. Print.
Journal Paper
Worden, Daniel. "The Work of Art in the Age of Transmedia Production (with regards to Walter Benjamin)." Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 28. 5 (2023): 56-77. Print.
Worden, Daniel, et al. "Style as Character: Joan Didion's Genres." A/B: Auto/Biography Studies 31. 3 (2016): 581-617. Print.
Invited Article/Publication
Whitted, Qiana, et al. "Making the Case for Comics Studies: Program Directors Roundtable." INKS: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society, vol. 7, no. 3. (2023). Print.
Worden, Daniel, Nicole Burton, and Hugh Goldring. "Social Justice Comics Today: An Interview with the Creators of The Beast: Making a Living on a Dying Planet." Los Angeles Review of Books. (2018). Web.
Full Length Book
Schwartz, Jesse W. and Daniel Worden, editors. New Directions in Print Culture Studies: Archives, Materiality, and Modern American Culture. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic, 2022. Print.
Worden, Daniel, editor. The Comics of R. Crumb: Underground in the Art Museum. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2021. Print.
Worden, Daniel. Neoliberal Nonfictions: The Documentary Aesthetic from Joan Didion to Jay-Z. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2020. Print.
Worden, Daniel, editor. The Comics of Joe Sacco: Journalism in a Visual World. Paperback ed. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2017. Print.
Worden, Daniel, Jason Gladstone, and Andrew Hoberek, editors. Postmodern/Postwar - & After: Rethinking American Literature. Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 2016. Print.
Journal Editor
Miller, Rachel and Daniel Worden, ed. Understanding Comics at 30: a Special Issue of INKS: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society, vol. 6, no. 3. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Press, 2022. Print.
Invited Keynote/Presentation
Worden, Daniel. "Maus in Comics History: From Funny Animals to the Classroom." Maus Sympoium. St. John Fisher University. Rochester, NY. 5 Apr. 2022. Keynote Speech.
Worden, Daniel, Barbara Postema, and Emmy Waldman. "Pandemic Comics and COVID-19." MLC Webinar Series. Ryerson University. Toronto, ON. 25 Mar. 2021. Guest Lecture.
Worden, Daniel. "Cool Realism: The New Journalism and New York Literary Culture." NEH Summer Institute. City of Print: New York and the Periodical Press. CUNY City Tech. Brooklyn, NY. 2 Jul. 2020. Guest Lecture.
Worden, Daniel. "Sequence in Comics." Sequential Considerations Symposium. Visual Studies Workshop. Rochester, NY. 21 Mar. 2019. Lecture.
Worden, Daniel. "Joan Didion, the New Journalism, and Personal Style." Barrett Honors College Lecture Series. Arizona State University. Tempe, AZ. 28 Mar. 2019. Lecture.
Worden, Daniel. "The Meaning of Memoir: Self, Object, and Other Neoliberal Nonfictions." Production of Literature Speaker Series. Carleton University. Ottawa, ON. 9 Nov. 2016. Lecture.
Worden, Daniel. "Money Trees": Comics, Rap, and Dispossession." Production of Literature Speaker Series. Carleton University. Ottawa, ON. 10 Nov. 2016. Lecture.
Various, . Frozen in Time: The Stephen Cooper Comic Book Collection. Jun. 2019. RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collection Digital Exhibits, Rochester, NY. https://cary-exhibits.rit.edu/exhibits/show/cooper-comics. Exhibit.
Kubert, Adam. Anatomy of a Comic: The Art of Adam Kubert. By Daniel Worden, Steven Galbraith, and Amelia Hugill-Fontanel. 7 Nov. 2018. Cary Graphic Arts Collection, Wallace Center, RIT, Rochester. Exhibit.

Currently Teaching

3 Credits
In this seminar, students will explore a specific topic of research within the field of art history. The topic will be determined by the instructor’s research focus or expertise, with the goal of directly engaging advanced undergraduate students with current research methodologies. Through readings, intensive discussion, and individual or group projects, students will identify and assess disciplinary research methods, and will apply those methods in the investigation of an issue designated by the instructor, assisting in the production or refinement of art-historical knowledge. The topic will be advertised by the instructor in advance of the term offered. Note: at least one prior 300-level or above art history course is strongly recommended.
3 Credits
This lecture course explores documentary aesthetics across 20th and 21st-century art and visual culture. Students will investigate documentary forms and methods, and how they have informed contemporary art practices. Analysis begins with early works in film and photography, and moves on to contemporary art that involves documentary work, ranging from photography and video to installations and conceptual art.
3 Credits
This course will explore how the comics medium has figured into the history of modern and contemporary art and visual culture. Students will explore how cartooning, drawing, and printmaking in the 19th century led to the development of early comics and the newspaper comic strip, how early 20th-century comics fit into the modernist avant-garde, how postwar artists began to use the comics medium as both source material and as a medium unto itself, how comics have been incorporated into contemporary art museums and galleries, and how contemporary comics artists engage with abstraction, medium specificity, seriality, and the archive. The course will draw from an interdisciplinary range of methodologies, from art history and visual culture to literary studies and museum studies.
3 Credits
An interdisciplinary introduction to comics and related media that blend image and text. By reading and discussing a range of popular comics, from newspaper comic strips to long-form superhero comics and graphic novels, we will learn both how to analyze comics and how the medium of comics emerged in and remains vital to popular culture. Through the use of interdisciplinary methods and resources in art history, communications and journalism, literary studies, material culture studies, rhetoric, sociology, and visual culture studies, we will also explore the aesthetic, cultural, historical, and global significance of comics.
3 Credits
This is a course on archiving and analyzing comic books. Using the Cary Collection’s archive of comic books, we will work to create a digital finding aid that details the unique print characteristics of comic books. We will also work with digitized copies of comics from the archive, to produce innovative accounts of comics as a print and visual medium.

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