Rachel R. Miller is a writer, editor, and scholar based out of Columbus, Ohio. She was awarded a BA with honors from the University of Chicago and an MA in English Literature from The Ohio State University (OSU), where she is currently a Presidential Fellow. She was the first assistant editor for the peer-reviewed journal Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society, which was named one of Library Journal’s Best Magazines of 2017 during her tenure. Over the past six years, she has held teaching appointments at OSU, where she has taught a range of courses in pop culture, gender and sexuality, film, and literature, and the Columbus College of Art and Design, where she has taught art history courses in illustration and comics. In 2018, she won the top honor from OSU’s Graduate School, the Presidential Fellowship, which supports her writing and research free of teaching obligations for the academic year 2019-2020. She is also the recipient of the Mary Lily Research Grant from Duke University and a summer residency at the Queer Zine Archive Project.
Rachel is currently at work on her first scholarly book about the convergence of mass media and feminist discourse in grassroots texts during the 1990s. The Girls’ Room: Bedroom Culture, Girl Collectors, and the Ephemeral Archive combines meticulous archival research of 1990s-era grassroots media made by girls, such as zines, comics, and VHS chain-letters, with readings of the era’s bestselling memoirs, literary novels, blockbuster films, and self-help books about girlhood. Her scholarship related to this project has been solicited for inclusion in collections like The Oxford Handbook of Comic Book Studies (forthcoming, Oxford UP), The Routledge Companion to Gender and Sexuality in Comics Studies (forthcoming, Routledge) The Other 1980s: Reframing Comics’ Crucial Decade (forthcoming, LSU Press), and Comics Memory: Archives and Styles (Palgrave). You can read more about her scholarship by clicking here and here.
A critic of contemporary independent and small press comics, Rachel has been invited to interview cartoonists like the legendary French-Canadian alternative cartoonist Julie Doucet, medium-defining Love and Rockets world-builder Jaime Hernandez, underground trailblazers Roberta Gregory and Mary Fleener, and cutting-edge contemporary artists like Katie Skelly, Jessica Campbell, Tillie Walden, Ivy Atoms, Melanie Gillman, and more. She recently wrote the exhibition essay for cartoonist Katie Skelly’s first solo exhibition, Skellyworld, which opened at The Naughton Gallery at Queen’s University Belfast this August. She has also served as a judge for the Emerging Artists Award at Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, the Hillary Chute Award for Best Graduate Student Conference Presentation at the Comics Studies Society, and a nominator for the Harvey Awards at the New York City Comic Con. In 2020, she will serve as a programming coordinator for the Small Press Expo. Her freelance writing about and reviews of independent and small press comics can be found at Public Books, American Book Review, Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society, Women Write About Comics, The MNT, Bitch Planet, and more.
She is currently at work curating the exhibit Ladies First: A Century of Women’s Innovations in Comics and Cartoon Art, which celebrates the contributions women have made to comics and cartooning from suffrage to the graphic novel. Co-curated with Caitlin McGurk, this exhibit boasts never-before displayed work from vital voices in the history of comics including June Tarpé Mills, Jackie Ormes, Lynda Barry, Phoebe Gloeckner, and many more. Ladies First will be on display at the Billy Ireland Library and Museum from November 2019 – May 2020.
When she isn’t reading comics or making zines, she is taking care of her pug, Wallace, and playing Dungeons and Dragons.
Avatar by Jamaica Dyer.