Undergraduate Course: The Graphic Novel: Narrative in Sequential Art (ENLI10380)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course features works by graphic novelists from the U.S., Canada; Latin America; the U.K and the Pacific, with attention to specific regional subgenres (such as American superhero narratives, Japanese manga styles, and the European bande dessinée tradition), as well as the thematic content and formal properties of individual graphic narratives. Our focus will be on three particular subgenres: adaptations from printed literary texts; memoirs; and historiography (including indigenous oral history). In addition to exploring conventions of narrative drawing, we will analyse these subgenres with reference to established literary criticism (on literary form, life writing, historiography, and adaptation), but also engage with a range of critical models specific to the analysis of graphic narrative. The course follows a broadly chronological structure, beginning with an overview of the evolution of the graphic novel from visual and literary antecedents (including comics and figurative art), and then engaging with a range of texts emerging from (or focused around) successive historical epochs (from the early modern period to the present). We range from early graphic novels such as Art Spiegelman¿s holocaust memoir Maus (serialised from 1980-1991) to recent digital narratives including Robert Berry¿s Ulysses Seen and Matt Huynh¿s The Boat (adapted from Nam Le¿s short story about Vietnam War refugees).
Strong emphasis will be placed on the process of adaptation of literary texts to graphic format, with particular attention to the ways in which narrative is rendered. Students will therefore be able to draw upon existing skills in the close reading of literary texts, but extend them further by exploring how literary criticism on the formal properties of texts can be applied to a new visual format. In addition, students will encounter new critical models on sequential art, focused around the potential of narrative drawing for creating unique stylistic effects and characterisation, and the way in which time and space are represented differently than in printed texts.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| Essential Course Texts
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||One coursework essay of 2,500 words (30%)
Class Participation assessment (10%)
One final essay of 3,000 words (60%)
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Construct original, clear and coherent arguments about the evolution of the graphic novel as a genre from models within literature and the visual arts
- Analyse graphic novels using recognised methods of literary criticism and sequential art criticism to substantiate and illustrate those arguments
- Evaluate established conventions within different subgenres of sequential art but also recognise the ways in which graphic novels depart from those conventions
- Orally present the results of research undertaken individually and as part of a small group, respond critically to such research undertaken by others, and critically evaluate the importance of such material for an understanding of the chief themes of the course.
Auster, Paul. The New York Trilogy (Faber and Faber, 2015). [We will refer to City of Glass only]
Auster, Paul. City of Glass: Graphic Novel (Faber and Faber, 2005; adapted by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli).
Grennan, Simon. Dispossession (Jonathan Cape, 2015).
Joyce, James. Ulysses (Wordsworth Classics, 2010).
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis (Vintage, 2008).
Shakespeare, William. Othello (Wordsworth Classics, 1992).
Shakespeare, William. Othello: Manga Shakespeare (SelfMadeHero, 2008) [adapted by Richard Appignanesi]
Spiegelman, Art. The Complete Maus (Penguin, 2003).
Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Wordsworth Classics, 1993).
|Course organiser||Prof Michelle Keown
Tel: (0131 6)50 6856
|Course secretary||Miss Kara McCormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030