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William and Mary grad student lauds Special Collections

Ravynn Stringfield is an graduate student in American Studies at the College of William and Mary. She uses her literary training to investigate what narratives, in their varied forms, tell us about race and gender. A focus of her research is graphic novels. Specifically, Stringfield is interested in the transformation of the Black Panther comic character since his creation in 1966 to his current by Ta-Nehisi Coates. She connects this to Mat Johnson’s Incognegro and illustrates how the works complement each other. She’s also a blogger who is chronicling her grad student and research experiences.

Stringfield discovered VCU Libraries’ significant Comic Arts Collection and its Special Collections and Archives department’ comics expert,  Cindy Jackson, Library Specialist for Comic Arts. Stringfield detailed her experience working with Cindy in a post titled, “Intermission, ft. Baby’s First Archive Trip!” It’s a summary of her interactions with Cindy, a first visit to an archives department and the research process in general from the vantage point of someone new to using primary sources in an archives setting.

“Working with Cindy was fantastic,” she wrote. “She promptly replied to emails, was happy to pull additional sources for me that I hadn’t listed, but felt I might enjoy, and was generally outstanding in her knowledge of comics and comic scholars.” To learn more about Stringfield’s experience visiting Special Collections and Archives, please visit her blog “Black Girl Does Grad School” and see the post “Intermission, ft. Baby’s First Archive Trip.”

Special Collections and Archives is open to the public Monday-Friday from 9 am to 5 pm at Cabell Library and 9 am to 4 pm at Tompkins McCaw Library. SC&A offers a variety of services and expertise to connect members of the VCU community and beyond with our holdings.