Latinx Comics and Graphic Narratives
In this course, we will read comic books, comic strips, and graphic novels by Latinx authors and artists in order to examine how verbal/visual texts represent and reimagine Latinx community and identity. According to cultural theorist and comics scholar Frederick Luis Aldama, Latinx comics comprise a range of genres, forms, and styles, and are therefore a “particularly good medium” for overturning “denigrating stereotypes.” Comics scholar, Derek Parker Royal likewise declares that “comics are well-suited to dismantle those very assumptions that problematize ethnic representation, especially as they find form in visual language.” Students will gain a background in comics theory, and will learn how to read and to analyze texts according to frameworks in the emerging field of comics studies. Students will also examine concepts critical to Latinx studies, including identity, race, gender, family, community, sexuality, and the self, as they are depicted in the hybrid medium of comics. To engage the broad, complicated dynamics of cultural representation and underrepresentation, students will conduct a research project that examines both the content and the market contexts of a Latinx comic of their choosing.
Multicultural, Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance (IP) courses examine the social construction of collective identities, the emergence of representative voices from varying social and cultural standpoints, and the effects of prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination. The purpose of courses in this category is to analyze the general principles underlying tolerance, or the lack of it.
US: Difference, Inequality, and Agency courses focus on race and ethnicity in the United States by considering two or more racial and ethnic groups.
Media, Folklore, and/or Culture courses focus on print and non-print media to explore culture and its processes of creative expression.
Empire, Race, and/or Ethnicity courses focus on ways that race matters in literature, media, and culture. Recent courses have examined such matters as native American literature and film; nineteenth-century writings by slavers and enslaved people in the U.S. and British colonies; fiction and filmmaking in post-apartheid South Africa; Latinx science fiction and environmental justice, and the novels of Toni Morrison.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.
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.