Currently, we are living through a "golden age" of comics production, in which works by author-illustrators such as Jeff Smith (Bone) and Ariel Schrag (Potential) adorn museum walls, and the comics sections of Barnes and Noble and independent comics stores are filled with avid readers. Macbeth and Jane Eyre have been rendered into graphic novel form; non-fiction texts, including the 9-11 Commission Report, have enlivened political debate. The challenge for scholars of traditional prose-based literature involves gaining an understanding of the medium, learning the technical vocabulary for analyzing it (for instance, the terms comics, graphic novels, graphic narratives, manga, and sequential art co-exist uncomfortably in scholarly discourse), and developing a set of interpretative stances that take into account what scholar Thierry Groensteen has termed "The System of Comics."
In ENGL 4100, Graphic Narratives, we will read a number of important long form comics and refer to literary theory and visual theory as part of our interpretative work. Click here in order to learn more: Download ENGL 4100 Course Policy and Syllabus Fall 2011
Here are the instruction sheets for every assignment, with the exception of the study guides for exam two and the final exam -- these will be issued closer to the dates of each exam.
Office Hours: 1:00-2:00 Tuesdays in 625 Sprau Tower and by appointment.
Illustration credit: I snapped this photo outside one of my favorite comic shops in Paris, August 2011. The mural was created by Jacques Tardi, noted French comics writer/artist.