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Fall 2017 Undergraduate English Courses: Special Topics

358:256 Introduction to the Graphic Novel

01   TF3  CAC   14448  GLISERMAN  MU-114

The central objective of the course is to learn how to read graphic novels—i.e., how to understand the interaction of visual drawings and language around and within those drawings. Introduction to the Graphic Novel explores how graphic novels are built and told—we will learn a conceptual vocabulary so we can discuss how the graphic novel achieves its objective of obtaining the reader’s attention and engagement. We will develop our understanding of graphic novels by way of a graphic introduction to graphic “comics.”  We will contextualize the graphic works with verbal and cinematic works to better to appreciate the specific qualities graphic works generate. And, of course, we will focus on reading examining a range of graphic novels and memoirs—e.g., Persepolis, Maus, Fun Home, Our Cancer Year, the March, Ghost World, Watchmen. These and others are examples of a range of themes and genres—autobiographic, illness narrative, costumed heroes, etc. 

There will be a weekly one-page paper, an exam on the formal properties of the graphic novel, and a 5-7 page final paper.