This semester I am teaching my ENGL 1302 (Comp 2) course by having my students do research on Graphic Novels.
Currently I am running this course out of my own WordPress Blog: www.whynotgraphicnovels.wordpress.com
One particular lesson has me engaging the students in examining McCloud’s Ch. 4 in an attempt to better understand how Time and Space operate within comic books/graphic novels: Continue reading “Teaching the Graphic Novel, an Approach for Comp II Classroom, Part 2”
Grant Morrison, in describing, in a bit of existential retrospection, how people come to perceive or interact with the 2D world of superheroes and comic books from the “higher dimension” of the real world recounts how:
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby could send drawn versions of themselves into the created world of Fantastic Four, and those little drawings of Stan and Jack were like angels, UFOs, avatars from a higher universe, entering a world they’d made to interact with its inhabitants. They created, as I cam to call them, ‘fiction suits,’ like space suits for sending yourself into stories. (Supergods 226-7)
Let’s be honest…this sounds pretty freaking awesome. Morrison enacted a similar feat of sorts at the end of his run on Animal Man for DC Comics from 1988-90. The final story saw the character of Animal Man, who had already experienced (while on peyote) a breaking down of the 4th wall in his reality and realizing that he was a character of fiction, had the character arriving at Grant Morrison’s very door-step to confront his own creator. This meta-confrontation/discussion was the final issue of Morrison’s run and ended with the character of Animal Man receiving his life back, including his murdered family. Continue reading “Diving In To Examine the Potential Power of Images”
So, are you thinking about teaching students about evaluating writing? Are you thinking about teaching students simply how to make an evaluation? Well, here is a lesson, some results, and possible exercise you can try out.
One of the genres, one that I used to use a minor writing assignment to cover and to “contrast” against Essay 2: Article Analysis, is that of Evaluations. This is a genre students need to know in order to approach the genre of Article Analysis or Textual Analysis, but it is also a genre I have found students were often very uncomfortable with. Continue reading “When you want students to get what evaluations require but find you need to inspire them with some critical thought…”
We begin here, with the idea of:
Directly teaching and using Graphic Narratives such as Graphic Novels in the Composition Classroom
During a summer session (5 weeks) at Mt. View College this summer I taught a Composition II class centered upon the rationale of having students approach a graphic novel, of their choosing (from a provided list), and argue an answer to one of three proposed questions:
- Should _________________ (insert graphic novel selection) be considered appropriate for use in the college classroom (pick a type of classroom)?
- Should _______________ _ (insert graphic novel selection) be considered worthy of someone wanting to read it? For what purpose might someone want to read it? Does it have merit?
- Should _________________ (insert graphic novel selection) be considered or adopted as a worthy piece of literature based on its literary merit (you argue for it), universal themes, and/or longevity potential?
I froze mid step handing back papers that morning.
“I’m sorry; what was that?” I asked the student even though I could already feel the blood draining from my face.
I hadn’t heard wrong. The important pieces were still there. Active shooter. Delta State. One professor dead.
And no one knew anything about the shooter. Who it was, if he was still at large, nothing.
I thought about my former colleague who was at that moment crouched on the floor of her office with her husband and students, hiding in the dark behind a locked door. What would she do if the shooter came? What would any of us do?
That’s a question that unfortunately so many of us in academia now have to acknowledge. What would we do in the unthinkable?
But we’re teachers, not firefighters or doctors or police. We don’t save lives in any visceral sense. Futures, maybe. But lives, no. Quite bluntly, we didn’t sign up for this shit. Continue reading “Unanswered Questions”
What can we learn from controversy? What can we learn from controversy in the classroom?
Recently there have been several incidents that have occurred involving the teaching of a particular graphic novel, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, that have helped bring this controversy to, again, to the forefront of thought in certain academic circles.
There have been recent discussions, particularly and recently at Duke University, surrounding resistance of individual and groups of students to reading Fun Home because of part of the subject matter contained within it. What they primarily appear to be offended by though is the fear of encountering something that may upset them or may go against their beliefs or thoughts about the world. There are several articles discussing this matter at some length, but perhaps the best one, taking into account the controversy and how others are handling it, is a piece from Inside Higher Ed by Colleen Flaherty entitled “No So ‘Fun Home’.”
What about other kinds of controversy? What about the controversy in the everyday classroom?
Well, how does one deal with it? To start, I want to attempt to look at it in three parts: Continue reading “Getting a Handle on Controversy in the Classroom”
I don’t always scrap a semester’s worth of plans the week before school starts, but when I do, it’s probably because I watched a Hozier video.
I may very well have been one of the last people to watch Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” video. For whatever reason, it wasn’t even on my radar until the end of summer when a close friend of mine put an iPad in my hands and said, “Here watch this.” I watched it once, and then again, put my sunglasses on and stared out the window for a long time. It was maybe one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen and at the same time gave me the feeling that I’d been punched and might throw up at any moment. If you’ve seen it, maybe you know what I mean. If you haven’t, you should.