Ph.D., Communication, University of California, San Diego, California.
Dissertation: Film and Function: A History of Motivational Film
Co-advisors: Robert Horwitz & Lisa Cartwright.
Committee: Michael Schudson, Michael Cole, Leslie Stern.
M.F.A., Conceptual Design and Information Arts, San Francisco State University.
Advisors: George Legrady, Steven Wilson, Christine Tamblyn
B.A., Fine Arts, Bard College.
Advisor: Jake Grossberg.
Comics & Sequential Storytelling, Social Issue Documentary, Digital Production (Adobe Creative Cloud, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere, After Effects) Research Methods and Interviewing, Alternative Media Practices and Publication.
Comics and Global Media; Communication, Media, and Culture; Post-WWII social psychology; Political economy of Non-Theatrical Film & Orphan Cinema; Graphic Storytelling and Social Movements; Democracy and the Media; Community Media Education.
EducationAcademic and Community Work: Teaching and Organizing:
(2018- present) BIJAN Legal Resource Team: I have worked with Boston Immigrant Justice Network to provide legal resources for immigrants in detention or seeking asylum.
(Fall 2016- Spring 2018) New Hampshire Institute of Art: Artist-Scholar /Full-Time Instructor
Team Taught new program in Foundations of Art, including writing intensives, working with Joel Christian Gill.
(2015-2018) FemTechNet DOCC (Distributed Online Course Collaborations) Coordinator:
Fem Tech Net is a collaborative project based on Feminist pedagogies, coordinated meetings, designed curriculum, websites, and conferences, https://femtechnet.org/
(2015-2018) Boston Comics Workspace Director/Owner, Somerville, MA
My own studio space in Somerville, Ma. In collaboration with Boston Comics Roundtable, I taught courses and provided space for other artists to teach & hold events. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVKHnUJtl2Y
(2013-2015) Adjunct Professor, Emerson College, Visual Media Arts, Boston, MA,
(2014) Visiting Assistant Professor of Studio Art, Wheaton College, Norton MA,
(2005-2012) Assistant Professor, Bentley University, Waltham, MA,
Designed Media & Culture major, multiple minors, as well as media production lab. Grew program from 2 majors to 30 majors over 5 years.
Comics, Documentary Films and Transmedia Productions:
Works in Progress:
The Dandelion King: Nixon & Bicycles (Book #2)
A divorce memoir and cultural history of the 1970s. This second graphic memoir in The Dandelion King series, takes place in Whittier, California, hometown of Richard Nixon, examining wide ranging topics including mental health, rape, and the counterculture. Sample pages: https://www.heidesolbrig.com/comics-selection
The Thorazine Shuffle (and other short films associated with The Dandelion King, combining original animation linking archival footage from historic documentary with a graphic mind’s eye) http://vimeopro.com/user8217007/the-dandelion-king-love-and-loss-while-waiting-in-the-gasline
I AM NOT A DOG is a Hospice portrait during COVID. Beautiful ink and charcoal portraits of the author’s father who is in hospice, and of their dog fill the book’s pages along with observations and King Lear quotations. Winner of the MICE mini grant, distributed by Radiator Comics: https://www.radiatorcomics.com/shop/uncategorized/iamnotadog/
The Dandelion King: Love and Loss in the Gas Line (Book #1)
(transmedia graphic novel combined with six short films and interactive app) examines personal and institutional changes of the reemergence of neoliberal policies and regimes in the 1970’s.
Selections from The Dandelion King, reproduced and discussed along with Alison Bechdel and Chris Ware in “House, Comics, Fish: Graphic Narrative Ecologies of the Suburban Home” in Literature of Suburban Change, by Martin Dines, ‘University of Edinburough, 2020.
Reviewed in Filmmaker Magazine, Scott MacCauley, Nov. 18th: Ghost Stories and Rapid Prototyping at the Seventh POV Hackathon, http://filmmakermagazine.com/88317-encounter-groups-ghost-stories-and-rapid-prototyping-at-the-seventh-pov-hackathon/#.VG9gh-fXOdO
Facebook Review, Lisa Nakamura (Oct 5th, 2015: “Read Heide Solbrig's graphic novel memoir. Put it next to Lynda Barry and Alison Bechdel on my shelf. All academics who lived through the seventies must read!”)
Water Tower Place (2014, short film)
Portrait of a low-income housing community in St. Louis that examines how of a handful of leasing agents, maintenance workers, apartment managers, community activists and local church leaders struggle to provide livable structure to overburdened residents. Funded Alpha films and Paul Corrigan. https://vimeo.com/90708453
Sex Myths (2014, online short film series for Partners in Sex Education)
Shown in conjunction with keynote presentation for Partners in Sex Education. (reviewed in The New Yorker, “Heavy Petting” by Larissa Macfarquhar http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/01/05/heavy-petting
Sex Myth #1 My Blue Waffle, with Elizabeth Boskey. Playfully explodes the Internet’s mythical Blue Waffle Disease meme, promoted to sell hits, fear, and porn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrkG44FiebY
Sex Myth #2 What’s an Unprepared Oral Sex Aficionado To Do? Megara Bell and Brian Flaherty illustrate through witty dialogue, animation and science what does and doesn’t protect sexual partners from sexually transmitted infections. https://vimeo.com/113052151
Man and the Middle Class: The Work and Vision of Henry Strauss, (2013, 51 min). Experimental documentary focusing on industrial filmmaker Henry Strauss and his influential 1947-1971 oeuvre. Strauss narrates his experiences in the Great Depression and WWII and how they inspired the production of workplace films aimed at returning soldiers, newly promoted managers, and executives confronted by transforming authority relations and work identities. Through conversation, interview, voice-over and historical footage the film examines how Strauss represented and influenced labor-management debates critical to the production of a post-war middle-class in the United States. The film’s sound track is designed and performed by Roger Miller of the Alloy Orchestra. https://vimeo.com/71693033
Float (2003, 30 min.). Personal documentary of a young homeless man during the 1980s. (“An insightful portrait of the director’s late boyfriend, a talented but troubled young man, using much of his own words and images. Fond of memory yet always completely honest,” CineVegas 2003 program; “Eugene O’Neill or Cassavetes in Super 8”—Dee Dee Halleck.) https://vimeo.com/32239867
Works in Progress:
Prospectus for Comics and Global Media: Comics and Communication, manuscript in progress.
“Why You Shouldn’t Go To Business School: Comic musings on a tragedy.” For Labor of Love: Adjunct Stories in Higher Education, (Jericho Burg and Larissa Dorman, eds.)
“Artists, Public Servants and Production Assistants: A Disciplinary History of Media Producers in the American Academy” (Cinema Journal Teaching Dossier, for submission).
Selections from The Dandelion King: Love and Loss in the Gas Line, Women’s Studies Quarterly (WSQ), 2015.
“Orphans No More: Definitions, Disciplines, and Institutions,” Journal of Popular Film and Television 37 (3), Fall, 2009 (pp.98-105).
“Henry Strauss and the Human Relations Film: Social Science Media and Interactivity in the Workplace” The Moving Image: The Journal of the Association of Moving Image Archivists 7 (1), Spring 2007 (pp.27-50).
“Dr. ERPI finds his Voice: Electrical Research Products, Inc. and the Educational Film Market, 1927-1937” in Learning with the Lights Off: A Reader in Educational Film (Dan Streible, Marsha Orgeron, Devon Orgeron, eds.) Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012 (pp.193-214).
“The Personnel is Political: Voice and Citizenship in Affirmative Action Videos in the Bell System, 1970 to 1984”, Films that Work: Studies in Visual Practices of the Industrial Film (Vinzenz Hediger and Patrick Vonderau, eds.) Amsterdam Press, 2009 (pp.259-282).
Bio for Reginald Hudlin p. 125, Encyclopedia of Black Comics, Forward by Henry Louis Gates (Editor, Sheena Howard) 2017
The Economic Education of a Neo-liberal, In Media Res: Economic Education Week, April 19th 2010.
“Digital Domestics: Race, Agency, Corporate Software,” Parallax, Issue 5, Sept. 1997 (pp.57-74).
Invited Screenings and Workshops
Invited Speaker, The Graphic Novel, English 190gn (Spring 2016) Harvard University, Instructor: Hillary Chute, March, 2016.
Shorts Program: The Dandelion King, Encounter App and The Thorazine Shuffle (works in progress), October, 3rd 2015.
Sex Myths #2: What’s An Unprepared Oral Sex Aficionado To Do? National Sex Education Conference, shown in conjunction with Key Note Presentation with Partners in Sex Education, Dec 3rd, 2014, Meadowlands, New Jersey.
The Dandelion King, PBS’ POV Hackathon, NYC. winner, Participants Choice Award. November 2014.
Float, Pawtucket Film Festival, Pawtuckett Rhode Island, September 2014.
Man and the Middle Class, Union for Democratic Communication/Project Censored Joint Conference, University of San Francisco, November 2013.
“Industrial Media and the Making of the Middle Class” (lecture) and screening of Man and the Middle Class, Faculty Lunch Talk Series, Office of the Provost, Wheaton College, April 2013.
Man and the Middle Class screening and lecture, Media Makers Series, Visual Arts, California State University, San Marcos, February 2011.
Man and the Middle Class screening, Labor Studies, University of Indiana, Bloomington, January 2011.
“I Want My Industrial Film,” lecture and screening sponsored by the Faculty of Information and Media Studies and Centre for American Studies, October 2010, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.
Man and the Middle Class, Pawtucket Film Festival, Pawtucket Rhode Island, September 2013.
Man and the Middle Class, Labor Studies Department, University of Indiana, Bloomington, Indiana, January 2012.
Float, CineVegas Film Festival Premiere (Documentary Shorts Program), June 2003.
Gallery Talk, “Possibilities: Comics Arts is not a Genre, from the collections of CCA and Dan Mazur” Wednesday, Oct. 11th, 2017, Amherst Gallery, New Hampshire Institute of Art.
Radio Appearance, “Comics and Diversity” Under the Radar with Callie Crossley, Nov. 2016.
Visiting Speaker, The Graphic Novel, Instructor: Hillary Chute, Harvard University, Spring, 2016
“Creator Talk: The Dandelion King” at The Boston Comics Workspace, July 12, 2015
“Book Launch: Roundtable and Presentation” for Women’s Studies Quarterly, The Child, 2015
Presenter and Commentator for “Now, Forager”, Fall 2014, Boston, October, 2014.
“Introduction to Water Tower Place, a Community Portrait,” prescreening event held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, St. Louis, March, 2014.
“Producing Media at UCSD,” Power, Publics, New Media: 30 years of Communication at the University of California, San Diego, June 2013.
“A Liberal Vision: Film and Middle Class Identity in Post-War Industrial Media”, The Center for the Study of the United States, October 2010, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
“Artists, Public Servants and Production Assistants: A Disciplinary History of Cultural Producers in the American Academy,” paper presented to “Valente Fellows Speaker Symposium”. Valente Paper Presentation, Spring 2009. Internal Respondent: Kristin Sorenson, External Respondent: Miranda Banks.
LGBTQ Brown Bag Lunch: “Ohio Tearoom Busts: Documenting Homosexuals, Documenting Homophobia, the transmogrification of a Police Training Film,” Bentley University, Diversity Series, April, 2009
The Time Is Now: The Henry Strauss Project, Bentley University English Department Colloquium Series, November, 2007.
MICE (Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo) Moderator for MICE “Making Comics When Everything Sucks (The Trump Panel), October 29th-31st, 2017.
Speaker for Arisia Comics Track: International Comics, Online Comics and Women and Comics, Jan. 13th-16th, 2017.
Moderator for “Gender and Color in Comics” at The Harvard Book Store, a conversation with John Jennings, Joel Christian Gill and Mildred Louis, Monday, February 6, 2017, 8:00 PM
MICE (Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo) Moderator for “Political Comics & Cartoons”, October 29th-31st, 2016.
Will Eisner Week, Teen Workshops in Graphic Storytelling, Cambridge Public Library, March 12th, 2016.
“‘Freedom on Film’: Neoliberal Economics and Media Narratives. 1950-1980,” The Society for Cinema and Media Studies, New Orleans, March, 2011.
“Electrical Research Products, Inc. and the Educational Film Market, 1927-1937,” Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities, Boston, April 2009.
“Artists, Public Servants and Production Assistants: A Disciplinary History of Cultural Producers in the American Academy,” University of Texas Media History Conference, October 2007, organized by Janet Staiger and Sabine Hake.
“Ohio Tearoom Busts: Documenting Homosexuals, Documenting Homophobia, the transmogrification of a Police Training Film,” International Communication Association, San Francisco, May, 2007.
“The Ohio Tearoom Busts: Documentary Prequels and Frederick Wiseman’s Mosaic Structure”, paper presented at: The Film and History: The Documentary Tradition, Dallas, November, 2006.
“Films for Factories and the Hollywood Factory System: Tales from Arthur Edwin Krows and Motion Pictures Not for Theatres,” Film and History Conference: The Documentary Tradition, Dallas, November, 2006.
“The Uses of Industrial Media and Social Science in the implementation of Affirmative Action at AT&T,” Media and Social Theory Conference, Center for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC), Oxford, September 2006.
“A Selected Institutional History of the Media Arts within Departments of Communication in the U.S International Communication Association,” International Communication Association, New Orleans, May, 2004.
“Interactivity and Corporate Videos,” Console-ing Passions: An International Conference on Video, TV, and Feminism, New Orleans, May, 2004.
“The Applied (and Implied) Psychology of AT&T’s Affirmative Action Film/Video,” International Communication Association, San Diego, April, 2003.
“Rights Beliefs and Rights Knowledge for Unrepresented Workers in California: The Case for Employee Rights Centers,” Southwest Labor Studies Association Conference, Los Angeles, May 2002.
Grants, Fellowships, and Awards
Somerville Arts Council, Project Grant (Women and Comics Speaking Series, (2016)
Invited to Submit, Creative Capital, (2015)
Final Round, Creative Capital Grant, (2014.)
Faculty Summer Research Grants to support production of Man and the Middle Class: The Work and Vision of Henry Straus 2005-2012
Bentley University Valente Center Faculty Research Fellowships, (2008-2009)
Courses Designed and Taught
New Hampshire Institute of Art: (2016- 2018)
Comics and The Global Media
Foundations of Art.
World Building with Creative Cloud; including Adobe After Effects, Premiere, and Illustrator.
DIY Film Production
Boston Comics Workspace Education (September, 2015-
Introduction to Comics’ Storytelling: Comics, Graphic Novels and More.
Comics Autobiography & Non-fiction Storytelling: Comics, Graphic Novels & More.
Wheaton College: (2012-2013)
Introduction to Video Production (including cinematography, lighting design, audio production, non-linear editing, script writing, and story-boarding)
Emerson College: (Jan, 2013- June. 2014)
Introduction to Film and Media Theory
Bentley University (2005-20012)
Introduction to Video Production
Introduction to Media and Culture
Principles of Media & Globalization
Media and Democracy
Social Issue Documentary (production course)
Introduction to Communication
Principles of Media and Culture
Independent Media Producers
University of California, San Diego
Television and the Rhetorics of Realism
Documentary Editing: Non-linear editing
San Francisco State University
New Hampshire Institute of Art
Hiring Committee (Spring, 2016)
New Majors Committee (Fall 2017)
Diversity Committee (Fall 2017)
Hiring Committees, 2005-2012
University-wide Curriculum Committee, 2005-2012
Media and Culture Program Committee, 2005-2012
Facilities and Equipment Committee, 2005-2010
Advisor, Liberal Studies Major, 2005-2012
Editorial / Curatorial
Co-Curator (with Avi Santo) for In Media Res: Economic Education Theme Week, April 19-23 1010.
Co-editor (with Elizabeth Hefflefinger) “Orphans No More: Ephemeral Films and American Culture,” a special issue of The Journal of Popular Film and Television, 37(3) Fall, 2009.
Assistant Editor of The Communication Review, University of California, San Diego,1997-1999
Assistant to Curator of Julia Child's Cookbook Collection, 1996
Production Skills and Software:
Creative Cloud, including Photoshop, Illustrator, AfterEffects, Premiere, CCAnimate (used to be Flash)
Various Cameras and Cinematography
Lighting Design: Studio lighting, Location Lighting. Adobe Lightroom.
Audio Production: Pro-Tools (DAW)
Non-Linear Editing and Design: Final Cut, Avid (Media Composer), DaVinci Resolve.