Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Noell Bernard
GEN ST 197
Seattle Campus

Freshman Seminar

Small-group discussion with faculty representing a wide spectrum of academic disciplines. Topics and approaches vary. Instructor may introduce research techniques or findings, concentrate on readings in his/her area of interest, or illustrate problems and alternatives related to the study of a particular academic discipline. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

Pop Comics emerged onto the world scene with a very black and white image: Superheroes battling Super-villains to save humanity from the evil plans teetering on the brink of fruition, threatening to ravish humanity and send them plunging into a darkness and despair. However, genre of Comics Literature has changed, as it has matured. As a result, the genre encompasses issues as varied as non-fiction memoirs to racism. In this seminar, you will be asked to draw upon your personal experiences in relation to comics and related readings. Together, we will discuss this up-and-coming genre which has just recently begun to draw respect from literary aficionados.

Student learning goals

9/24: Introductions, Syllabus, Comics Read for next meeting: McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York: Harper Perennial: 1994.

10/1: What is Comics literature? What are Graphic Novels? Objective: To discuss comics as a literary form and to establish theory upon which further discussion can be based. Topics: 1. What is the purpose of the comics genre? 2. How does the medium of comics change the way the story is told? 3. How does the format draw the reader in? Read for next meeting: Spiegelman, Art. Maus: A Survivor��s Tale.

10/8: Non-fiction comics: Comics as Memoirs Objective: To look at non-fiction comics as a medium for memoirs. Topics: 1. Comics as Holocaust Memoirs 2. Comics as Modern Memoirs Read for next meeting: Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis.

10/15: Non-fiction comics: Comics as Memoirs, continued. For next class: Please rent and watch ��Persepolis,�� or I will rent it and you all can come to my house.

10/22: Adaptations from comic to film Objective: Discuss similarities and differences between film and comics��how the story medium changes and how that changes the way we experience the story. Read for next meeting: Moore, Alan. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

10/29: Racism in Comics Literature Objective: Discussing topics of racism in comics. Topics: 1. Racism portrayed in the comics medium 2. How the comics medium is different from racism in written media 3. Historical Context 4. The ��Whiteness�� of the leaders and heroes Read for next meeting: Please rent and watch ��The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen�� or again, you can watch it my house.

11/5: Adaptations from comic to film Objective: Discuss similarities and differences between film and comics��how the story medium changes and how that changes the way we experience the story. Reading for next week: Herge. The Adventures of TinTin.

11/12: Racism in Comics Literature Objective: Discussing topics of racism in comics. Topics: 5. Racism portrayed in the comics medium 6. How the comics medium is different from racism in written media 7. Historical Context 8. The ��Whiteness�� of the leaders and heroes Reading for next week: Online readings. Kim, Sung Mo. Hating the Japanese Wave (���Ϸ�). Yamano, Sharin. Hating the Korean Wave (�ޫ�).

11/19: Racism in Comics Literature, continued Objective: Discussing comics as a form of racist propaganda. Topics: 1. Racist propaganda 2. Captain America vs. Hitler 3. History between Japan and Korea (Japanese occupation of Korean peninsula) 4. ��Korean Wave�� Readings for next week: Online readings. http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/

11/26: Women in Comics Objective: Discuss portrayal of women in comics literature and surrounding issues. Topics: 1. Themes in women��s roles in literature 2. The ��Super-heroine��: Wonder Woman 3. Connections to women in other comics we��ve read

For next week: Work on presentation for next week!

12/3: Brief Student Presentations Objective: Discuss and review. Discuss reflections. Assignment: Create a brief response to what we��ve learned this quarter. The response can be anything��be creative! It can be a comic strip, artwork, a poem, song, dance. Whatever you��d like it to be. Please be prepared to share your response briefly with the class. I will bring treats. =)

General method of instruction

Mixture of lecture and class discussion.

Recommended preparation

No formal preparation necessary! Be ready to participate in class discussion.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments are largely optional and mostly as platforms for class discussion as a way to organize your thoughts. Some film screenings will be needed.

There will be short presentations on the last day of class.

Class participation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Noell Bernard
Date: 10/20/2008