Ernesto Priego, a doctoral candidate at the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, University College, London, and a scheduled presenter at this year's International Comic Arts Forum, has been denied entry into the United States of America. The United States government declined to renew Mr. Priego's visa and has not given any explanation why he will not be allowed in the country.
Mr. Priego's exclusion is part of a recent and disturbing practice of denying entry to foreign scholars, and an infringement on academic freedom in the United States.
I have included Mr. Priego's paper abstract and biography below.
“The Tell-Tale Smell of Burning Paper: ‘Logic of Form’ and the Origin of Comics”
Inspired by Walter Benjamin's philosophy of history, this paper discusses the origin of comics through a study of the “logic of form” in comic artists from the 1870s to the 1930s: the departure point being the recognition of a series of formal aspects that could be agreed as essential or definitive of the comics language. Different technological and artistic factors were involved in its development, resulting from the convergence of industrial development in the form of a transformation of printing and distribution techniques, artistic trends, and significative codes employed at the time.
Ernesto Priego, a poet, essayist, translator, and PhD candidate at the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, University College, London, has taught English literature and critical theory at major Mexican universities and published a translation of Jessica Abel's award-winning graphic novel, La Perdida (Astiberri Editores, Spain, 2007) and a first book of poetry, Not Even Dogs (Meritage Press, 2006).
Readers may judge for themselves what sort of security or immigration risk he poses to the American people.