Comics and Crisis: Graphic Narratives and History

Dr. Joanne Janssen's "Comics and Crisis" course was designed to be cross-listed as an undergraduate Literature course and a General Education course. Thus, it focuses on literary and cultural studies while also emphasizing writing, critical thinking, and information literacy skills. The course readings include graphic novels centered in social conflicts such as MausPersepolisSafe Area GorazdeAmerican Widow, and Capote in Kansas. The complimentary course-long portfolio assignment asks students to thoughtfully consider a historical crisis and create their own graphic narrative for it. Drawing on independent research and weighing the choices made in the other texts they read throughout the semester, students must consider how to most effectively engage with their chosen event, eventually creating a graphic interpretation of their own. Finally, students articulate their inspirations, intentions, final thoughts, and so on in an artist's statement. 


Included here are the syllabus, reading schedule, the full assignment overview, and descriptions of each of its components. 


Course content: Joanne Janssen, Baker University

Description: Katherine E. Bishop, Miyazaki International College, Japan 

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