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2014 MacArthur Fellow: Alison Bechdel

Funded by: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Cartoonist Alison Bechdel is the recipient of a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship. She has authored a number of comic-based works revolving around themes of sexuality and gender, the best-known of which is Dykes to Watch Out For, which was syndicated from 1983-2008. Her name is known in feminist circles for the “Bechdel Test,” adapted from the speech of a Dykes to Watch Out For character which challenges films to include at least one scene of two women speaking to each other about something other than a man.

In 2006 she released the graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic which was widely praised by mainstream media outlets for its brilliant portrayal of her childhood, her relationship with her father, and her own journey of understanding gender and sexual orientation. Fun Home was adapted as a musical in 2009. Her second graphic memoir, Are You My Mother?, was published in 2012.

Watch the video above to see her speak about her work. For more information about her and the rest of the 2014 Fellows, including Joshua Oppenheimer, director of the Media Impact Festival nominee The Act of Killing, and public artist Rick Lowevisit the MacArthur Foundation website