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Comics & Graphic Novels

ENGL 103.001
instructor(s):
MW 11-12:00pm
fulfills requirements:
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Sector III: Arts & Letters of the College's General Education Curriculum

Comics! That’s right, folks, we’re gonna be reading lots of comics in this course. Some will be short, some will be long—we’ll call those “graphic novels” (for fun and for added respectability). Popular yet understudied for over a century, comics are now critically recognized as a major form of communication and contemporary creative art. This course will combine literary and historical approaches to investigate this rapidly growing and increasingly influential form of literature, and will ultimately provide students with high levels of visual literacy to navigate today’s ubiquitous multimedia landscape of image and text. The course fulfills “Sector III: Arts & Letters” of the College's General Education Curriculum as it represents an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge mirrored by the graphic novel’s joint ancestry in fine arts and literature. Along with a historical overview of the form’s development across the twentieth century, complete with analysis of relevant broader institutional and cultural factors illuminating the growth of American media culture more generally, the course emphasizes the critical skills necessary to read and understand this deceptively complex medium—and visual storytelling in general. We will tackle a dazzling array of works that define and redefine the form while illustrating a variety of artistic & storytelling approaches to central themes of contemporary experience: politics, sexuality, class, censorship, violence, cultural and ethnic diversity. Assignments will include super-short weekly discussion posts on Canvas, two short papers, a web comic exercise, and a final exam. ‘Nuff said.

 

Please see below for TA contact and office assignment per recitation:

ENGL 103.202  Estevan Aleman (alemane@sas.upenn.edu) room 118 FBH.

ENGL 103.203  Ann L. Ho (annlho@sas.upenn.edu) room 237 FBH.

ENGL 103.204 Jess Lamar Reece Holler (jesslrh@sas.upenn.edu) room 340 FBH.

ENGL 103.205 Joel Newberger (joelnewb@sas.upenn.edu) room 319 FBH.

ENGL 103.206 Noa Ania Nikolsky (noanik@sas.upenn.edu) room 118 FBH.

ENGL 103.207  Jenna R. Nordness (nordness@sas.upenn.edu) room 331 FBH.