101 MTWTh 9:45-11:20 Professor Gerry Canavan (session 1)
Course Title: 21st Century Comics
Course Description: This course surveys the history, reception, and artistic form of comics and graphic narrative, with particular focus on comics published in the last twenty years. How have comics shifted from their origins as a predominantly American, predominantly male fixation on the superhero towards an increasingly popular international art movement crossing gender, class, and ethnic lines? What are comics today, in 2019, and who are they for—and why, as Thierry Groensteen has pointedly asked, are comics still in search of cultural legitimization? As in previous instances of the course, we will consider science fictional and superheroic comics alongside high literary novels and confessional autobiographies to gain a full understanding of the medium and its possibilities.
Readings: The reading list is still being finalized (and open to suggestions!) but books could include (on the science fictional side) The Walking Dead, Superman: Red Son, Planetary, and Ms. Marvel, and (on the literary/autobiographical side) Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá’s Daytripper, and Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth. Students can expect to read about one graphic novel per week, so around six in all.
Assignments: Class participation and presentations, weekly D2L posts, take-home midterm, take-home final