Course: The Graphic Novel

HC 223H

Professor: Helen Southworth

In this class we will explore the evolution of the graphic novel genre (or sequential art), its subject matter and its form. We’ll consider visual storytelling and we’ll learn strategies for visual and textual analysis. Texts will be wide-ranging in terms of focus, including stories of family life, coming of age, race and sexuality, immigration, politics and autobiography.

Titles will include Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V for Vendetta, Riad Sattouf’s Arab of the Future, Marguerite Abouet and Clement Ouberie’s Aya: Life in Yop City, Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, and Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese. We’ll read critical work by Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics), Hilary Chute (Why Comics? Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics), Douglas Wolk (Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean); and Jonathan Lethem (ed. Best American Comics 2015), among others.