ECCTYC 2015 Conference: Featured Speakers

Keynote Address:  Thursday, October 29, 2015

Adam Bessie


Adam Bessie has turned his love of comics into a cornerstone of his career as a writer and educator: his most recent publications include “Teachers Who Moonlight” in The Atlantic, “Diagnosing Cancer? There’s an App for That” in The Boston Globe, and a co-authored a graphic report The Disaster Capitalism Curriculum: The High Price of Education Reform, along with graphic journalist Dan Archer. The twelve-page non-fiction comic book draws on real interviews with education experts and activists, but instead of being reported in words, photographs, or film, the serious exploration of this complex topic is presented in cartoons and panels. He has published numerous other articles on the artistic and academic value of graphic literature, and teaches a course on comics at Diablo Valley College, where he serves as a professor of English and co-coordinator of the English Learning Center. All of his comics are available at


Friday Luncheon Speaker: Friday, October 30, 2015

Meg Withers

megMeg Withers grew up in a small northern California town. She has traveled a lot, living in England and all over the continental U.S.A. She earned her MA and MFA from San Francisco State and currently teaches at Merced Community College—Los Baños campus—an island in the middle of cotton fields and dairy farms. Her first book of poems, Must Be Present to Win, based on Buddhist beliefs, was published in 2006. Withers second book of poetry, A Communion of Saints, based on her life working in gay bars in Hawai’i in the midst of the AIDS epidemic of the 80’s, was published in 2008. In 2014, along with co-author Joell Hallowell, Withers  published with Joell Hallowell a tribute to unknown women, Shadowed: Unheard Voices, which is an anthology of more than 150 prose poems and 50 compelling photographs.

Saturday Bruncheon Speaker: October 31, 2015

Kennan Norris

kennanKeenan Norris’ novel Brother and the Dancer is the winner of the 2012 James D. Houston Award and will be published by Heyday Books in November 2013. He holds an M.F.A. from Mills College and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. His research interests include urban literature and the publishing industry. He teaches English, African-American Literature, Basic Skills courses and promotes the AFFIRM program at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, California. His work, both fiction and non-fiction, has appeared in numerous forums, including the Santa Monica, Green Mountains and Evansville Reviews, Connotation Press, Inlandia: A Literary Journey Through California’s Inland Empire and BOOM: A Journal of California. He is also the editor of Scarecrow Press’s collection of critical essays Street Lit:Popularity, Controversy & Analysis and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.