Following the Frivolous Image: The Historical Development of Manga

Part of a Japanese scroll of a frog and rabbit chasing a monkey
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Manga, or Japanese comics, is one of Japan’s most recognizable cultural exports. In 2009, The Japan Times claimed that manga was the heart of Japanese popular culture. Although much has been written on its status as a lucrative global phenomenon, only a few scholars are interested in tracing its movement through art history.

In this talk, Dr. Max Dionisio, East Asian Librarian at the Royal Ontario Museum, and Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, examines the diverse historical and artistic roots of modern manga. We will see how ancient Japanese narrative scrolls, Buddhist paintings, Edo period (1600-1868) prints, late 19th-century political cartoons, and early 20th-century comic strips helped to lay the foundation for the creation of one of the most popular reading forms of today. We will also consider the differences and changing attitudes toward visual literacy in Japan and in North America.

About Max Dionisio

After earning his doctorate in Japanese studies, Dr. Dionisio came to Canada in 2007 to attend library school at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information. Before joining the ROM in 2015, Dr. Dionisio was Assistant Librarian at Upper Canada College in charge of technical services. He is also a sessional instructor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information where he teaches courses on advanced cataloguing, comic books, and book history. Dr. Dionisio is currently researching early 17th-century Japanese Christian art and the material history of the Japanese Christian persecutions of the mid 17th-century.

This free public lecture is produced with the support of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies and the Visual and Critical Studies Program.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul St., Room 230
Max Dionisio bespectacled and smiling in front of a book case

Resume Building Workshop

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm

The Visual and Critical Studies Program and the Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers (CEAD) invite you to the Resume Building Workshop on January 25, from 3:30pm -5:00pm on the 3rd floor of the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion, 115 McCaul St. We will be going over helpful tips to aid you in building a resume just in time for summer jobs and internships! Please come with your laptop and a physical copy of your most recent resume. 


Date: Friday, January 29 2019

Time: 1:30-3:00

Location: 3rd Floor of the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion, 115 McCaul St. 


Please RSVP here. 

Venue & Address: 
3rd Floor of the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion, 115 McCaul St.
"Resume Building Workshop Jan 29 2019, 1:30pm - 3:00pm"

Call For Submissions: The OCAD U Journal of Visual and Critical Studies

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 to Friday, February 8, 2019



The Journal of Visual & Critical Studies collects and celebrates some of the best undergraduate academic writing at OCAD University. Comprising of exhibition and performance reviews, critical essays, and thesis abstracts, this anthology challenges the boundaries of art history and visual studies in order to produce innovative relationships between art, design, and academia at OCAD U and beyond. Contributors will be invited to the Journal’s launch as a part of GradEx 2019.

We encourage students to submit work that they have written for courses and would feel proud to share with the OCAD U Community. The Editorial Committee is seeking submissions from all current OCAD U students in the following formats:

Exhibition and Performance Reviews [250 to 500 words]
Reviews of exhibitions, performances or art-related events that happened after April 2018. We welcome reviews that are local, national, or international in scope.

Critical Essays [1000 to 2000 words]
We publish academic essays about art, design, and visual studies. We are open to a wide range of methods and analyses, including experimental writing on aesthetic experiences and interdisciplinary research. We can accept excerpts from larger essays.

Abstracts of Thesis Projects [150 to 250 words]
Art or design students may submit up to 3 images of their works to contextualize their abstract. Images provided should be 300 DPI.

Submission Guidelines:
Submissions should be sent either as an email attachment, or as a link to a Google Drive file to Writing should be submitted as a Word Document (.doc or .docx) and Chicago style citations are encouraged.

In your submission email please provide a 1 to 2 sentence biography that includes your name, your program, the year of your program (for ex: 3rd year student), and a few details about your research interests and/or studio practice.

To learn more about the Journal of Visual & Critical Studies and to read past volumes, please visit

DEADLINE: Friday, February 8th, 2019

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul St.
JVCS Call for Submissions: Text in description above on a white background

Journal of Visual and Critical Studies Publication Launch

Friday, May 4, 2018 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Founded in 2016, the Journal of Visual and Critical Studies collects and celebrates some of the best academic writing by students at OCAD University. Comprising critical essays, exhibition reviewsand thesis abstracts, this anthology reflects the unique approaches to art history and visual culture that are being explored at the school.

Venue & Address: 
Room 315, 100 McCaul Street
Visual and Critical Studies Journal Publication Launch poster

Visual and Critical Studies Symposium

Monday, April 9, 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Students in the BA (Honours) Program in Visual and Critical Studies will present their thesis projects in a public Symposium on April 9. This is an opportunity for students, faculty, and community members to see the exciting work that our graduating cohort is doing on the cutting edge of art history and visual culture. Please join us in celebrating their accomplishments!


2018 VCS Thesis Class:

Victoria Girard

Won Jeon

Matthew Mancini

Anthony Masucci

Yana Rydzevskaya

Vanessa Tadman

Meagan Van Capelle

Sammy Van Herk

Maya Wilson-Sanchez


Date and time: Monday, April 9, 2018, 1-4 pm


Location: OCAD University, Room 230, 100 McCaul St, Toronto, ON M5V 3A8


For further information please contact Charles Cassady, Program Assistant, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences 416-977-6000. Ext 3359



Venue & Address: 
OCAD University, Room 230, 100 McCaul Street
symposium poster

Visual and Critical Studies' Freaky Friday Bake Sale

Friday, January 13, 2017 - 10:00am to 3:00pm

Finish off the first week of classes with something sweet!

Students within the Visual and Critical Studies program will be hosting a bake sale on Friday, January 13th, 2017.


Where: Main lobby, 100 McCaul Street

When: 10am - 3pm, Friday, January 13th


All proceeds will support extracurricular activities for the Visual and Critical Studies program students, such as field trips and lectures by international guests. 

Venue & Address: 
Main Lobby, 100 McCaul Street
Freaky Friday Bake Sale

Visual and Critical Studies Program Fundraising Book Sale

Monday, November 28, 2016 - 3:00pm to 8:00pm

Join us on Monday, November 28th in the lobby of 100 McCaul St. for the Visual and Critical Studies program fundraising book sale! All proceeds will support extracurricular activities for the Visual and Critical Studies program students, such as field trips and lectures by international guests.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Street, Main Lobby
Poster for the Visual and Critical Studies Program Fundraising Book Sale