Mita Mahato’s primary areas of research and teaching are in contemporary visual studies and theory, with a secondary specialization in 19th-century British Literature. Her research explores the articulation and reception of illness stories in unwritten narrative forms, including comics, film, online media, and photography. She serves on the planning committee for the Comics and Medicine International Conference, where she regularly presents both her scholarly and creative work. A member of the board of the Seattle comix and arts festival, Short Run, Mahato pursues art that combines collage, comics, and news stories, often to explore loss and transformation. Her book Sea won the Cartoonists Northwest's Toonie award for best comic book of 2015, and her strips have been published in Seattle Weekly and Drunken Boat. Mahato was invited to participate in the prestigious Arctic Circle Residency in 2017. The same year she published In Between: The Poetry Comics of Mita Mahato. Other projects include essays on alienated sympathy in Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner’s joint graphic memoir Our Cancer Year, and the silent language of illness in David Small’s autography Stitches. Her essay on the fraught world of illness blogging, “Virtuous Community: Online Storytelling in Leroy Sievers’s My Cancer,” was published in Storytelling, Self, Society (2011). Mahato teaches in the areas of Film Studies, Visual Rhetoric, Medical Humanities, Critical Theory, and Jane Austen.
B.A., University of California-San Diego, 1996; M.A., Ph.D., University of Oregon, 1999, 2003