Course Instructor Days Times Room
ENGL4896 PIZZINO, CHRISTOPHER TR 11:00 AM 0145

Description

Comics are read widely, and seriously, by people of all ages in many nations, but they have long been considered a kind of non-literature in the US.  The fortunes of comics have been changing (somewhat) in recent decades, and this course will pay some attention to how the changes have happened and what they mean.  However, this is first and foremost a study of comics as a medium, regardless of status.  Early in the course, we will master the critical terms needed to analyze comics, and these terms will be a part of class discussion and part of the writing assignments throughout the semester.  Texts will be selected from a variety of national traditions and periods, but there will be a significant focus on the past three decades of graphic novels in the US.  One or two films may supplement the primary texts.  Students taking this course should be aware that there is a lot of reading and that the texts are, unfortunately, expensive.  They are also required; students who attend class without the day’s reading will be counted absent.  Additionally, students should note that printed (that is, paper) copies of all texts are required; digital copies will not be allowed.

Students should also note that the assigned texts contain a great deal of visually explicit violence, including sexual violence (not to mention sexual content of many other kinds).  If the texts were films, several of them would earn an NC-17 rating.  Please do not sign up for this course if either your conscience, or any other factor relevant to your reading life, does not permit full, energetic, critical engagement with this kind of material.

Assignments

Quizzes will be constant.

Short essays will be required during the term.

There will be a final exam.

Requirements

See above.

Attendance

Students will be allowed four absences.  Additional absences will damage the final grade; the more absences there are, the worse the damage will be.  If some absences are excused, the damage can be reduced but not erased.  Students should be aware that this policy is never altered, and that it has been the primary factor in drops and failures in previous terms.  Take this into consideration before deciding to register for the course.

Material

NOTE: all books listed below are accompanied by an ISBN number and a link.  The links are not intended as endorsements, but they will let you know exactly which edition of the book to acquire.  All texts listed are required.

 

Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art

9780060976255

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Comics-The-Invisible-Art/dp/006097625X

 

Noelle Stevenson, Nimona

9780062278227

https://www.amazon.com/Nimona-Noelle-Stevenson/dp/0062278223

 

Lynda Barry, One Hundred Demons

9781770462779

https://www.amazon.com/One-Hundred-Demons-Lynda-Barry/dp/1770462775

 

Gene Yang, American Born Chinese

9780312384487

http://www.amazon.com/American-Born-Chinese-Gene-Luen/dp/0312384483

 

Matt Fraction, David Aja and Javier Pulido, Hawkeye Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon

9780785165620

https://www.amazon.com/Hawkeye-Vol-Life-Weapon-Marvel/dp/0785165622

 

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Red

9781771620222

http://www.amazon.com/Red-Haida-Michael-Nicoll-Yahgulanaas/dp/1771620226

 

Kyle Baker, Nat Turner

9780810972278

http://www.amazon.com/Nat-Turner-Kyle-Baker/dp/0810972271

 

Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library Vol. 20: Lint

9781770460201

http://www.amazon.com/Acme-Novelty-Library-Chris-Ware/dp/1770460209

 

Gilbert Hernandez, Beyond Palomar

9781560978824

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Palomar-Rockets-Gilbert-Hernandez/dp/1560978821

 

Sanaa Amanat, G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal

9780785190219

http://www.amazon.com/Ms-Marvel-Volume-No-Normal/dp/078519021X

 

Alison Bechdel, Fun Home

9780618871711

http://www.amazon.com/Fun-Home-Tragicomic-Alison-Bechdel/dp/0618871713

 

Margureite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie, Aya: Life in Yop City

9781770460829

http://www.amazon.com/Aya-Life-City-Marguerite-Abouet/dp/1770460829

 

Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis

9780375714832

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Persepolis-Marjane-Satrapi/dp/0375714839

 

Shaun Tan, The Arrival

9780439895293

https://www.amazon.com/Arrival-Shaun-Tan/dp/0439895294

 

Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, This One Summer

9781596437746

http://www.amazon.com/This-One-Summer-Mariko-Tamaki/dp/159643774X