Collins Living Learning Center | The Graphic Novel: Redrawing Boundaries and Rewriting Conventions
L210 | 20620 | Rebecca Peters-Golden


Graphic novels are complex works of art and literature that actively engage popular culture,
and are certainly not just for kids. The form of the graphic novel, which developed out of
comics, has forced many critics to rethink the position that comics are less complex, less
culturally relevant, and of less value than "real" literature. This course takes the graphic novel
as its object of study: we will examine its history and development, its form and genre, its
cultural situation, and its aesthetic concerns. However, it also uses graphic novels as a way to
ask questions about the ways literature and art can represent, affect, and explain the
histories and culture that produces them. We will work through many themes that are
essential to graphic novels (alienation, gender, sexualities, race, class, violence, history,
high/low culture) and conclude with a study of the recent upswell in filmic adaptations of
graphic novels.