Posts Tagged ‘comics’

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Comics and Scholarship

posted: 1.30.14 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

By Elizabeth Losh

Academic scholarship that depends upon citation and review of existing literature is usually seen as  dense and complicated, diametrically opposed to the clarity and accessibility of comics.  As this column has pointed out, however, the increasingly common practice of assigning graphic novels in college curricula has hardly created a rise in “gut” courses.  [read more]

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More than a Textbook

posted: 11.11.13 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

Today we welcome guest blogger Dr. Jim Haendiges. Jim is an Assistant Professor of English at Dixie State University in Saint George, Utah. He teaches courses on technical and professional writing as well as visual design in documents and multimedia authoring. These courses correspond with his research interests in visual literacy and digital interfaces in education. Apart from his research, Jim likes playing video games with his children and reading comic books to them for bedtime stories.

I was sold on the premise of Understanding Rhetoric even before I saw chapter outlines and mock pages. Comic books have been a hobby and academic interest of mine for several years, and I have been waiting for a textbook like this to use in my classroom instead of presenting my students with Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics and saying, “Trust me, this type of visual format works for a writing course, too.” Needless to say, I did not need any strong convincing to use Understanding Rhetoric in my college introductory writing course this semester. But I really wasn’t sure how my students would react. [read more]

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Representing Organizations with Comic Books

posted: 12.3.12 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

          Liz

Writing for community organizations is a well-regarded type of composition assignment that aims to engage student writers with issues from the real world. For example the National Council of Teachers of English has a lesson plan devoted to writing in the common genre of the brochure.  Many composition instructors who want to incorporate service learning into their classrooms have asked students to create written materials for real world organizations that might include clinics, centers, and non-profit agencies.  Writers learning to think about mastery of a collective voice rather than an individual voice have also been encouraged to compose in many genres.  Examples cover a wide range of common formats for mass communication, such as brochures, booklets, catalogs, posters, press releases, blog entries, and websites.

The comic book format is also often used as a means of public outreach by many organizations and might serve as a good potential kind of assignment for students doing public writing to tackle.  For example, Planned Parenthood created a series of comic books in the fifties and sixties called Escape from Fearto dramatize the value of birth control.  For more examples, check out the website Comics with Problems for everything from help with poison control to advocacy for segregation from the office of Alabama governor George Wallace in the pre-Civil Rights South. [read more]

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Turning the Composition Classroom into Comic-Con

posted: 2.2.12 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

Liz

           Liz

Each year in our Culture, Art, and Technology core curriculum, students read graphic novels… and they write them. As if having over two hundred students compose their own original comic books in conjunction with a traditional academic research project weren’t ambitious enough, UC San Diego Ethnic Studies Professor Wayne Yang also requires first-year writing students to organize their own version of San Diego’s famous annual Comic-Con with booths, costumes, and souvenirs to promote the graphic novels the students have created.

The final product/performance was impressive. On the day of the event, the exhibition space floor was filled with students handing out commemorative swag that ranged from traditional t-shirts to customized condoms. Given the national debate about waning student engagement in college courses, it was striking for me as a writing program administrator to see how enthusiastic Yang’s students were about participating. Check out the CAT Comic-Con Flickr page to see some of the scenes from the day. [read more]

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