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ENG-411-20, Top: Intro to Graphic Novel (SU14)

INSTRUCTOR: Andrew Raymond Bossert

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: T1/Saturday/8:30-11:15 AM, 05/31/2014-06/28/2014

CONTENT:

This course will provide a quick survey of some of the most important literary graphic novels of the last twenty years, ranging from independent art house comics, to popular super hero and genre fiction, to young adult literature. We will spend the first day discussing theories of readings. Each subsequent class will focus on a different graphic novel.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

This course will introduce students to theoretical approaches to reading graphic novels and “comics.” It will provide a vocabulary and methodology for critical analysis of this medium. Students will practice oral and written expression as they analyze the texts using these critical methods. This is primarily a literature course, and so it will focus on learning ways to interpret graphic novels as literary texts.

ATTENDANCE POLICY:

Because this course only meets for five sessions at three hours each, each absence will count as a full letter grade off of the final grade. If you cannot attend the first class session, please do not attend this class. Missing more than one-half hour of class will be counted as an absence. I may do quizzes at the beginning of class. Quizzes cannot be made up. If you do not think you will be able to attend class on time, do not register for this class.

METHODS:

-The class will be mostly discussion based, however, I will have to lecture occasionally to provide historical and theoretical context. Students will be expected to provide questions and interpretations during class and respond to each other’s ideas.

-Internet Access: No Internet access is required for this course, although some communication might take place over e-mail (helpful links, scheduling appointments, announcements, emergency cancellations, etc.).

REQUIREMENTS AND ASSIGNMENTS: 

-Final Essay: Students will use the theories of reading that we discuss to write an essay analyzing a graphic novel. 30%

-Short Projects: The course may include brief creative projects or short reflections in order to sharpen the ability to recognize features of comics, but this is not an art class and no artistic experience or skill will be necessary. 30%

-Quizzes: Brief, objective quizzes will be issued at the beginning of each class. 20%

-Participation: 20%

REQUIRED TEXT(S) OR MATERIALS: 

-McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics ISBN: 978-0060976255

-Spiegelman, Art. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History, Book 1 ISBN: 978-0394747231

-Miller, Frank. The Dark Knight Returns ISBN: 978-1563893421

-Kirkman, Robert. The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye ISBN: 978-1582406725

-Yang, Gene Luen. American Born Chinese ISBN: 978-0312384487

READINGS AND/OR ASSIGNMENTS TO BE DONE PRIOR TO THE FIRST CLASS:

Read Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics before the first class.