Comics in Academia: “What We Do When We Do - Candida Rifkind

Comics in Academia: “What We Do When We Do Comics Studies”

Dr. Candida Rifkind, Department of English, University of Winnipeg For copy of this presentation go to:

What is comics studies? ! Scholarly study of comics & graphic novels ! 1996 = publication of Art Spiegelman’s Maus changes perceptions of storytelling in graphic form ! Around 2000 = beginnings of comics studies in universities and colleges ! usually as part of existing Humanities fields and courses, eg. English, History, Women’s and Gender Studies, Media Studies, Rhetoric and Composition, Education, etc.

! Around 2010 = dedicated courses and degree programs

What is comics studies? ! Diverse field (“indiscipline” rather than a discipline) !  Multiple disciplinary approaches from literary studies to film studies to communication to neuroscience !  Multiple methodologies, for instance: ! formalist (technique) ! cultural studies (text within cultural contexts) ! audience studies (reception) ! adaptation studies (both ways: comics adapting existing works and adaptations of comics into film or theatre)

! Scholars sometimes also creators, fans have knowledge to share with academics

Landmark works in comics studies

4 Theoretical debates in comics studies 1.  Definitions: what is a comic?

2.  Are comics a unique form?

! Will Eisner: comics = “sequential art” (vs. one panel cartoon) but too general for Scott McCloud

! “comics exceptionalism” debate

3.  Terminology ! comics vs. graphic novels vs. graphic narratives vs. ….

Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics p. 9

Theoretical debates in comics studies 4.  Creating a canon of “great works”: what is a “good” comic or graphic novel? Most studied graphic narratives in academia

Beaty & Woo argue for expanding study to bestsellers, popular, serials that fans love but academics overlook

Comics studies research: online resources

! Bonner Bibliography: online comprehensive international bibliography for comics studies

Comics studies research: online resources !  University of Florida Comics Studies

Comics studies research: online resources ! Neil Cohn’s Visual Language Lab

Comics studies research: scholarly journals Open Access !  The Comics Grid !  ImageTexT

Database Subscription Required

Comics studies research: scholarly books beyond the landmarks !  University of Mississippi Press !  Ohio State University Press !  Rutgers University Press

Comics studies research: organizations !  Comics Studies Society

Comics studies research: organizations Canadian Society for the Study of Comics/La Sociéte canadienne pour l’étude de la bande dessinée.

Comics studies at Uwinnipeg REQUIRED TEXTS

THE UNIVERSITY OF WINNIPEG Topics in Comics: Medievalism Course # ENGL-3980.002 Term: Winter 2017 Professor: Lauren Chochinov This course will aim to examine how comics negotiate the numerous literary, political, cultural, and societal issues inspired by the medieval period. Together we shall explore the long-standing relationship between medievalism and the comics medium. From the Anglo Saxon age to the England of King James I, we will question the influence of medieval literary tropes in modern comics, the relevance of the Middle Ages in twentieth/twenty-first century comics, and what happens when King Arthur, the Once and Future King, finally wakes up. In the year 3000.

Barr, Mike W. Camelot 3000. DC Comics, 2013. Bennett, Marguerite. 1602: Witch Hunter Angela. Marvel Comics, 2016. Foster, Hal. Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938. Fantagraphics, 2009. Fraction, Matt. Hawkeye Vol. 1: My Life As A Weapon. Marvel Comics, 2014. McCreery, Conor. Kill Shakespeare Vol. 1. IDW Publishing, 2010. Simone, Gail. Red Sonja Vol. 1: Queen of Plagues. Dynamite, 2014. Spurrior, Simon. The Spire. Boom Studios, 2016. Stevenson, Noelle. Nimona. Harper Teen, 2015. Van Hamme, Jean. Child of the Stars (Thorgal). Cinebook, 2007. Yagi, Norihiro. Claymore Vol. 1. VIZ Media LLC, 2006. Yukimura, Makoto. Vinland Saga Vol. 1. Kodansha, 2015.

Comics Studies at UWinnipeg THE  UNIVERSITY  OF  WINNIPEG   ENGL-­‐3980.001   Topics  in  Comics  and  Graphic  NarraEves:  CANADIAN   COMICS    Term:  Fall  2016                 Professor:  Dr.  Candida  Ri9ind  

Module  1:  History  &  Myth   Brown,  Chester.  Louis  Riel:  A  Comic-­‐Strip  biography.     Chantler,  ScoH.  Two  Generals.     Yahgulanaas,  Michael.  Red:  A  Haida  Manga.    

 Module  2:  Coming-­‐of-­‐Age   Castrée,  Geneviève.  SuscepAble.     This  course  introduces  students  to  an  array  of  Canadian  comics   Cho,  Michael.  ShopliBer.     and  graphic  narraAves  that  tell  a  diversity  of  stories,  across  the   Lemire,  Jeff.  The  Complete  Essex  County.     spectrum  from  ficAon  to  non-­‐ficAon.  We  will  pay  special  aHenAon   to  how  contemporary  Canadian  and  Indigenous  comics  represent   Module  3:  Border  Crossings   and  unseHle  Canadian  naAonal  mythologies,  from  the  idea  of   North  to  hockey.  As  well,  the  readings  invite  discussion  of  such   Van  Kamp,  Richard  and  ScoH  Henderson.  A  Blanket  of   topics  as  historical  ficAon,  peace  and  conflict,  memory  and   BuHerflies.  Delporte,  Julie.  Everywhere   nostalgia,  bodies  and  sexualiAes,  race  and  ethnicity,  place  and   AntennasVaughan,  Brian  K.  and  Steve  Skroce.  We  Stand   idenAty,  self  and  other.  In  addiAon  to  the  comic  books,  students   On  Guard  (Deluxe  Ed.).     should  be  prepared  to  read  criAcal  and  theoreAcal  material.  

New First Year course at UWinnipeg Winter 2018 Introduction to Reading Culture: Graphic Novels Course # ENGL-1004.3-004

This  course  introduces  students  to  the  diverse  and  vibrant  storytelling  worlds   of  graphic  novels.  We  will  read  a  range  of  literary  genres,  including  coming-­‐of-­‐ age  ficAon,  auto/biography,  gothic  horror,  and  speculaAve  ficAon,  all  in  the   form  of  comic  books.  Lectures  and  discussions  will  teach  students  the  specific   terminology  and  foundaAonal  theories  of  comics  studies,  an  interdisciplinary   field  that  draws  on  literary  studies,  cultural  studies,  media  and  communicaAon   studies,  art  history,  and  film  studies.  We  will  also  pay  aHenAon  to  the   similariAes  and  differences  between  comics,  literature,  and  film,  especially   when  we  study  film  adaptaAons  of  the  graphic  novels.  Assignments  will  include   a  sequence  analysis  (close  reading),  comparaAve  essay  (between  two  texts),   research  essay  (on  one  text),  reading  quizzes,  parAcipaAon,  and  a  final  exam.    


Comics in Academia: “What We Do When We Do - Candida Rifkind

Comics in Academia: “What We Do When We Do Comics Studies” Dr. Candida Rifkind, Department of English, University of Winnipeg For copy of this presen...

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