COLT370 201802 Undergraduate

Term: 
Winter 2019
Course: 
COLT 370
Applies To: 
Undergraduate
Sections: 
Title: 
Comparative Comics: Images of Empire
Instructors: 

Michael Allan

Michael Allan profile picture
  • Title: Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and David M. and Nancy L. Petrone Faculty Scholar
  • Additional Title: Program Faculty in Cinema Studies; Program Faculty in Comic Studies
  • Phone: 541-346-0981
  • Office: 316 Villard Hall
  • Office Hours: Fall 2018 TR 1:30-2:30 & by appt.
Department Section Description: 

Comics, Colonialism and Images of Empire

When Jean de Brunhoff published The Story of Babar in 1931, he helped lend visual form to a colonial “civilizing mission” with the seemingly simple tale of an orphaned elephant. Just a year earlier, the Belgian George Rémi (Hergé) published Tintin in the Congo, which included notoriously racist caricatures, and then Tintin in America, which was controversial for its sympathetic portrayal of native Americans. Beyond noting the engagement of comics in issues of caricature, stereotype and representation, how might we understand the broad translation and dissemination of comics throughout the French and British empires? How do these visual media translate when adapted in former French and British colonies?

Our class will address debates in the dynamics of cross-cultural representation and explore how comics provide a particular optic for the analysis of colonialism. We will investigate civilizational discourse as pertains to stereotypes, physiognomy, caricature and humor, and also to the place of comics within literary culture. Our discussions will draw from critical essays on the emergent field of comic studies as well as representative texts, cultural commentary and films dealing with the emergence of this graphic form. No prior knowledge of the field is required, but each student will be expected to participate actively in this reading and writing intensive seminar and to work over the term on a final project.

Fulfills: 

Comics Studies Minor

Comics Studies Minor courses present students with an international, historical, and critical perspective on the art of editorial cartoons, comic books, and graphic novels, and how these forms communicate, inform, and emotionally engage their audiences.  Students will be required to think outside of accustomed disciplinary boundaries, and to analyze and experiment with the interaction of both visual and linguistic systems of meaning.

Not for ENG Credit

This course does not count for credit in the English major or minor.

Title: 
Comparative Comics: Wars, Recoveries, Politics
Instructors: 

Palita Chunsaengchan

Palita Chunsaengchan profile picture
  • Title: Comparative Literature Graduate Student / GE
  • Office Hours: Fall 2018: T 10-12 & by appt.
Department Section Description: 

Wars, Recoveries, Politics in Graphic Novels

Wars destroy human beings on the material, corporeal and psychological levels by forging premature unnatural deaths, losses and irretrievable destruction of what is formerly stable, familiar and beloved. Now living safely away from the first-hand experiences of war, how can we tell or study war stories in a way that do justice both to the victims and to the survivors, who are still traumatized by real events and by the burden of haunting memories? How can we teach a war in the past that was technically over, yet, still resonate in many ways with other social crises of our time? Does telling war stories equate to the way in which wars were experienced firsthand? Then, how do representation and storytelling in art forms mediate the situation of possible reoccurring violence? Led by these questions, this course will examine a particular medium–graphic novel–which carries with itself the richness of visual, narrative and linguistic components. We will question how this particular medium along with the genre of war navigate the proximity and distance to violence and war memories We will discuss visual and narrative techniques, topics, and critical aspects that arise from experiences and memories of wars as well as locations. Students will not only engage with the aesthetic aspect of graphic novels but will also have to participate in discussing political contexts, and ways in which we can address wars in relation to politics and ethics. Students will learn critical vocabularies that are often used to analyze graphic novels and comics while also engaging in critical theory and discussions around aesthetic and politics of this medium.

Fulfills: 

Comics Studies Minor

Comics Studies Minor courses present students with an international, historical, and critical perspective on the art of editorial cartoons, comic books, and graphic novels, and how these forms communicate, inform, and emotionally engage their audiences.  Students will be required to think outside of accustomed disciplinary boundaries, and to analyze and experiment with the interaction of both visual and linguistic systems of meaning.

Not for ENG Credit

This course does not count for credit in the English major or minor.