Associate Professor, English
BA, University of California-San Diego, 1996
MA, PhD, University of Oregon, 1999, 2003
Mita Mahato’s primary areas of research and teaching are in Film and Visual Studies, with a secondary specialization in nineteenth-century British Literature. Her research explores the articulation and reception of illness stories in extra-lexical narrative forms, including online media, comics, film, and photo essays. Her essay on the fraught world of illness blogging, “Virtuous Community: Online Storytelling in Leroy Sievers’s My Cancer,” is published in Storytelling, Self, Society. Other past projects include essays on alienated sympathy and the language of silence within the comics medium.
In addition to her work as a scholar, Mahato is a cut paper, collage, and comics artist. Using collage and paper-making techniques, she builds multivalent images and stories that center on issues related to loss—including loss of life, identity, habitat, and species. A selection of her poetry comics, collectively titled In Between, was published by Pleiades Press in 2017, and her mini comics have been featured in Drunken Boat, Seattle Weekly, and Mutha Magazine. Her book “Sea” was recognized by Cartoonists NW as 2015’s “best comic book" and her comics art has been exhibited in galleries across the country. In 2017, she served as the first Artist in Residence at the School of Medicine at UC Riverside and participated in the Arctic Circle Art/Science Residency in Svalbard, Norway. She serves on the board for the arts organization Short Run Seattle, as well as the steering committee for Graphic Medicine.
Mahato teaches advanced courses on Documentary Filmmaking, Visual Rhetoric, Auteur Theory, and Illness Narratives. She also regularly teaches Introduction to Cinema Studies and core courses in Writing and Rhetoric.