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January 1, 2009
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v2.1 Reference

Teaching the Graphic Novel

Graphic novels are now appearing in a great variety of courses: composition, literature, drama, popular culture, travel, art, translation. The thirty-four essays in this volume explore issues that the new art form has posed for teachers at the university level. Among the subjects addressed are

  • terminology (graphic narrative vs. sequential art, comics vs. comix)
  • the three outstanding comics-producing cultures today: the American, the Japanese (manga), and the Franco-Belgian (the bande dessinée)
  • the differences between the techniques of graphic narrative and prose narrative,and between the reading patterns for each
  • the connections between the graphic novel and film
  • the lives of the new genre's practitioners (e.g., Robert Crumb, Harvey Pekar)
  • women's contributions to the field (e.g., Lynda Barry)
  • how the graphic novel has been used to probe difficult moments in history (the Holocaust, 9/11), deal with social and racial injustice, and voice political satire
  • postmodernism in the graphic novel (e.g., in the work of Chris Ware)
  • how the American superhero developed in the Depression and World War II
  • comix and the 1960s counterculture
  • the challenges of teaching graphic novels that contain violence and sexual content

The volume concludes with a selected bibliography of the graphic novel and sequential art.

About the Author

Stephen E. Tabachnick, professor in the English Department at the University of Memphis, is the author or editor of books on Victorian and modern British literature, as well as articles and papers on the graphic novel.


"[A]n immensely practical guide for anyone faced with teaching graphic narratives, whether in classes dedicated to the graphic novel or as additions to other literature courses. . . . [M]akes plunging into comics a little less daunting...Teaching the Graphic Novel leans toward making a canon of comics and graphic narratives visible for instructors and in so doing provides a compelling argument for why graphic narratives should be included in courses at colleges and universities in the first place." —Jennifer H. Williams, Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture

9781603290616 : teaching-the-graphic-novel-tabachnick
Paperback / softback
361 Pages
$29.00 USD

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