Survey of 20th- and 21st- century graphic novels in the context of cultural theory. Sophomore standing required. Offered alternate years.
This course offers an introduction to the graphic narrative form with a focus on life-writing and coming of age narratives. Themes will include: the process of life-writing; time; representing bodies/disability; “comic’s long history of ‘powerful marginality’” (El Refaie, 7); reader response; fiction vs non-fiction; “verbo-visual strategies,” “cross-discursive form[s]” (Chute, GW 2); trauma; feminism; experiment; texture; race and more. Authors will include Art Spiegelman, Lynda Barry, Marjane Satrapi, Alison Bechdel, Guy Delisle, Joe Sacco and Emil Ferris.
Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.
Theory/Rhetoric courses teach media theory, the major modes and schools of criticism and theory, and theories and techniques of reasoning, rational discourse, and argumentation.
Media, Folklore, and/or Culture courses focus on print and non-print media to explore culture and its processes of creative expression.
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.