The Comics Reporter reports that Mexican scholar Ernesto Priego has been denied a visa for his appearance later this month at ICAF, the international comics scholar gathering> The ICAF site has a statement:
Ernesto Priego is unable to present his paper at ICAF because he has been denied entry into the United States of America. The U.S. government has not renewed his visa, nor have they given him any explanation why he will not be allowed into the country. ICAF protests this refusal of entry, part of a recent and disturbing trend of excluding foreign scholars, as an infringement on academic freedom.
A native of Mexico and a published poet, Priego is currently a doctoral candidate at University College in London. He was scheduled to present a paper called “The Tell-Tale Smell of Burning Paper: ‘Logic of Form’ and the Origin of Comics.” This was scheduled for the theory and practice of comics studies track headed by Charles Hatfield.
UPDATE: Ernesto Priego himself stopped in at Marc Singer’s blog to make a VERY important disctiction: he was not denied, his visa was simply not renewed, a very big differencce.
I appreciate the post, but I would like to say that I wasn’t “denied entry”; my visa was not renewed, most probably because I did not apply for it in person and did not submit enough documents proving what I’d be doing in the States. So they didn’t know I was going to a conference. I had just applied for a normal renewal. I don’t want to make any further public comments on this matter, but I wanted to publicly clarify the distinction between being denied entry as a scholar and not having gotten the paper renewed. Information travels very fast on the Internet, and sometimes it gets distorted as it flies over the seas of bits and pixels.