Fall 2013 course list

Comics and Cartoon Studies Minor Course Descriptions

Please Note:  Comics and Cartoon Studies minor courses are taught by these specific instructors.  All other instructor courses will NOT count toward this minor.

Fall 2013

CRN Subj/# Title Instructor
10966 AAD 251 Arts & Visual Literacy Voelker-Morris, Robert
Explores ways in which physical, perceptual, affective and cognitive modes of learning interact when viewing, interpreting, and assessing designed visual information within sociocultural contexts.
10966 AAD 252 Art & Gender Voelker-Morris, Julie
Cultures normalize and legitimize, challenge and resist, understandings of gender through the arts. AAD 252 introduces socio-cultural factors influencing gender in the arts. The course will consider approaches to gender in art through select historical and contemporary analyses of education, social status, subject matter, criticism, and public perceptions. Additionally, students will explore select social, political, aesthetic, and economic factors that influence ways cultures define art and artists in gendered terms. Specific artists and their works will be explored in a context of gender. Students will be encouraged to adopt a critical perspective regarding the arts, gender, and culture.AAD 252 has no prerequisites. The class explores a variety of perspectives on the question of “art” and the roles it may play in our lives.
10974 AAD 450 Art in Society Fenn, John
This course examines the arts as expressive practice that manifest through material culture in society, with specific attention to the concepts of participatory and convergence culture. We will explore the relationships of art to society and individual values using folkloristic, anthropological, sociological, philosophical and art education literature, and we will do so in a transmedia environment. Drawing on concepts derived from these literatures, we will examine the ways in which material culture functions to maintain, transmit, and dynamically engage cultural and social change. Fine, functional, popular, folk, multimedia, and environmental forms of art constitute a range of subject matter; we will specifically address the implications for arts managers that these various critical perspectives entail for work in the arts and culture sectors.
18110 COLT 380 Top Toyko Cyberpunk Brown, Steven
 Introducing the history, forms, and discourses of Japanese “cyberpunk” in contemporary anime and film, this course explores the urban dreams (and nightmares) that constitute cyberpunk’s posthumanist vision of Neo-Tokyo. Viewed not as a reflection of contemporary Japanese society but rather as its defamiliarization, Japanese forms of cyberpunk are investigated alongside Western examples of posthumanism as sites of contestation for competing ideologies and the delineation of new possibilities of existence, new forms of being, at the intersection between carbon- and silicon-based forms of intelligence and data-processing.
Treating Japanese cyberpunk not merely as a literary movement or aesthetic style but more importantly as a philosophical discourse with distinctive questions and premises—i.e., as a philosophical “problematic” with its own sociohistorical specificities and transnational trajectories—we will investigate the cyberpunk city as an “abstract machine,” the cyborg’s “organs without a body,” and the rhizomatic processes of cyberculture.Issues discussed include:

  • The status of subjectivity in posthumanism: fabricated, virtual memories and fractured identities.
  • The human body and its interfaces with technology: cyborg implants, prostheses, replacement parts, and bio-tech hybridities.
  • Post-apocalyptic visions of class, race, gender, and sexuality.
  • The individual and her relation to the city: new modes of spatiality and habitation, new forms of community, new ways in which individuals circulate and are contained, as well as new forms of surveillance and policing.
  • Acts of resistance: the politics of cyber-terrorism and other forms of subversion.
18111 COLT 380 Top Asian Horror Brown, Steven
Since the late 1990s, fans of Asian cinema have witnessed a renaissance of films in the horror genre. Directors such as Nakata Hideo, Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Miike Takashi, and Shimizu Takashi from Japan, Herman Yau, Fruit Chan, and the Pang Brothers from Hong Kong, Kim Ki-duk, Kim Dong-bin, Park Chan-wook, and Bong Joon-ho from South Korea, Kelvin Tong from Singapore, Songyos Sugmakanan from Thailand, and Yam Laranas from the Philippines have contributed in distinctive ways to the new Asian Horror that emerged in the late 90s and continues to enjoy critical and box-office success today. The fact that nearly a dozen Hollywood remakes of Asian horror films have debuted in the past decade — including remakes of The Grudge, Dark Water, Pulse, One Missed Call, The Eye, Shutter, and A Tale of Two Sisters — is striking evidence that Asian Horror has finally received the recognition it deserves as a movement that may be as significant to global cinema as the French New Wave was in the late 1950s and early 60s. This seminar focuses on the most prolific source of Asian Horror: namely, J-Horror. Contemporary Japanese horror cinema has spawned so many imitators, in terms of subject matter, style, and cinematic technique, that J-Horror has practically become a movement unto itself. During the course of our investigations, we will consider everything from vengeful ghost stories to serial killer thrillers, from body horror to techno-horror.
13034 ENG 280 Introduction to Comic Studies Saunders, Benjamin
This class will provide an introduction to the art of comics and to the methodologies of the new academic discipline of Comics Studies. Students will be exposed to a spectrum of comic – art forms (the newspaper comic-strip, the comic book, the graphic novel), and to some recent examples of contemporary comics scholarship.
17281 ENG 385 Graphic Narrative & Cultural Theory Wheeler, Elizabeth
Graphic novels are literary narratives in comic book form. In 1992, Art Spiegelman won a Pulitzer Prize for his Holocaust narrative Maus and demonstrated that a comic book could also be an important work of literature. Since then, authorshave increasingly turned to the graphic novel, especially for exploring family history, global politics, and cultural identity. This course is a survey of 20th and 21st century graphic novels, grounded in cultural theory, ethnic and gender diversity, and political context. The last section centers on graphic novels about Middle East politics from a wide variety of perspectives. Graphic novels include Maus, Flaming Iguanas, Incognegro, Fun Home, New Orleans A.D., Persepolis, and Palestine. Cultural theorists include Benedict Anderson, Georg Simmel, Louis Althusser, Chela Sandoval, and Edward Said.
17434 ENG 410 Writing for Comics – Video-Conferenced Bendis, Brian
The graphic novel features the unique marriage of words and pictures that has seeped into every facet of popular culture.  This course will focus on all the storytelling elements that create the written word of this unique visual medium.  Students will study the form and its influences, discover and create original works for both print and digital platforms, and be put through a classroom version of the editorial process.  Throughout the term, there will also be a smattering of comic book professional guest lecturers. Required Texts: Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting by Robert Mckee, Comics & Sequential Art by Will Eisner, On Writing by Stephen King, Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative by Will Eisner, and Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
17922 FR 399 War in French Comics (in French) Moore, Fabienne
This class invites students to approach “bande dessinée” as a complex, hybrid genre where text and image interact to produce meaning that we will learn to decode. Though France, along with Belgium and Switzerland, has one of the oldest and most influential traditions of “bande dessinée,” the study of this narrative art form has been hindered by misconceptions regarding its popularity, easiness, superficiality and young readership. To challenge such perceptions, this class focuses on representations of war in Francophone “bande dessinée:” we will cover several conflicts (French Revolution, French Commune, WWI, WWII, colonial war  including the Algerian war of independence) and we will examine how and why artists/authors represented them “graphically.” We will study the aesthetics of artists/authors who invented such icons as Tintin, Astérix and Obélix, Lucky Luke, or Bécassine and also examine major contemporary works (by Tardi, Comès, Fernandez and Lax/Giroud). The objective of the class is improve your critical thinking in French as we engage with a media that challenges the literary cannon while being extraordinarily expressive. We will discover a new way “to tell” the story of Francophone identity and the history of its strengths and weaknesses in times of war.