Projects in Reading & Writing

TOPIC: The Contemporary Dystopian Graphic Novel

28685 7:15p-8:30p TR TBA


This class will be an introductory investigation into a recent American cultural phenomenon: the popularization of the "underground," dystopian graphic novel. Over the past few years, screenplays adapted from graphic novels have made for highly successful films. Examples include Sin City, V for Vendetta, Batman Begins, and 300. In this course we will look at these films but primarily the dystopian graphic novels of the last three decades that have in recent years begun to achieve mainstream recognition. We will undertake a semester-long regimen of reading and writing in which we will consider this interesting cultural phenomenon from a wide range of perspectives, thinking about how the authors and artists of these graphic novels handle questions of history, mass culture, and resistance, as well as the sometimes problematic ways in which they incorporate issues of race, gender, and sexuality. The course will culminate in an individual reserarch project exploring the following questions: What sort of shift in the American cultural landscape is indicated by the rise to mainstream popularity of the dystopian graphic novel?