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ENG 607 Sem Comics Theory
In this course, we will work together to develop a theoretical framework for interpreting image/texts and apply this interpretive model to a variety of graphic narratives. A number of questions that have driven comics scholarship inform our readings as well as our approach: Form--What are the unique formal principles or attributes of comics? How might such formal properties be theorized? Using Franco-Belgian structuralist and post-structuralist models (Fresnault-Deruelle, Peeters, Groensteen) as well as recent U.S.-based approaches (Hatfield, Witek), how might we conceptualize comics formally? Culture--How do socio-political contexts as well as gender and ethnicity factor into comics production and interpretation? How might we use gender theory (Chute), multi-ethnic approaches (Parker Royal, Aldama), as well as postcolonial theory (Mehta and Mukherjee) in order to think through the complex, transnational issues that comics pose? Materiality--How can we understand comics through the matrix of media and materiality? What does it mean to read a comic online? How do comics relate to ideas like Henry Jenkins notion of transmediality? Disciplinarity--Where should comics be positioned within the academy? How do the preceding categories shift our understanding of comics as a field of study?
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