Monday, July 27, 2009

Comics Course Mentioned in Chronicle of Higher Education

This week's Chronicle of Higher Education contains one their occasional light-hearted columns, this time entitled "5 Courses We Wish We Could Take," by Ashley C. Killough. (Really, Chronicle, using a numeral in a title? As the first word? Sigh.) Anyway, it includes as one of its "5" courses Prof. Michael Burgett's "Far Side Entomology." "Using bugs featured in [Gary Larson's Far Side] comic strips, [Burgett] challenges students to explore the relationship between humans and earth's six-legged creatures." (And no, "Far Side" creator Gary Larson's name isn't featured in the brief paragraph.)The Chronicle is far from the first media outlet to make note of this course. Here are a few more examples:
Prof. Burgett is well-known apart from his non-comics-related work, particularly for his expertise on bees. Some more examples:
Congratulations to Prof. Burgett, who's not just a media-darling for his comics teaching, but an enthusiastic and well-respected all-around scholar and educator!

Image credits: Top - NPR Website, courtesy of Michael Burgett. Middle - The Daily Barometer, Photo Illustration by Justin Runquist.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

CFP: Critical Approaches to Teaching Graphic Narratives in the Literature Classroom (edited collection; 9/15/2009)

Thanks to pal Dennis Gouws for the tip.
Friends from graduate school + Facebook = networking deluxe!

Critical Approaches to
Teaching Graphic Narratives
in the Literature Classroom

Deadlines: proposal by September 15, 2009; essay by December 15, 2009.

This edited collection is tentatively titled Critical Approaches to Teaching Graphic Narratives in the Literature Classroom. Commonly known as book-length comics, graphic narratives cover a broad range of topics and formats. The past three decades have seen an increase of readership of graphic narratives as well as scholarly interest in this subject. This collection brings together scholarly essays that discuss the challenges, methodologies, and strategies for using graphic narratives in both undergraduate and graduate classes. This volume hopes to fill in the gap between the texts and the classroom by providing a platform for scholars to discuss the connection between graphic narratives and other genres, themes, criticism, and theories. With scholarly essays from various disciplines as well as interdisciplinary fields this collection aims to promote discussion on critical approaches and pedagogical and methodological challenges facing instructors. Emphasizing a combination of practical and theoretical strength, this collection encourages dialogues among teacher-scholars, advances the new constellation of scholarship on the teaching graphic narratives, and provides students with useful references and critical approaches to analyzing particular texts as well.

Each chapter is between 6000 and 7000 words including notes and works cited (MLA format). Please send a 500-word proposal, a 2-page CV, and a paragraph of bio note by September 15, 2009. Essays are due by December 15, 2009. Please do not submit works that are under consideration elsewhere or have been published previously.

Send inquiries and proposals to:

Lan Dong
English Department, UHB 3050
University of Illinois
Springfield, IL 62703

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009's "Comics in the Classroom: 100 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Teachers"

The Blog posted a great entry this past Sunday: Comics in the Classroom: 100 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Teachers. I'll let the site speak for itself...
Gone are the days of children sneaking comics past diligent parents and teachers watching out for sub-par literature. The comics of today not only have plenty to offer, they are gaining well-deserved recognition and awards. Take advantage of the natural affinity children have for comics and use them as a powerful teaching tool in your classroom. The following tips, tools, and resources will get you started.
They've organized these 100 links into the following categories:
  • Understanding Benefits and Usage in the Classroom
  • Resources for Using Comics in the Classroom
  • Suggested Comics for the Classroom
  • Tools
  • Creative Ways to Use Comics in the Classroom
  • Lesson Plans for Elementary
  • Lesson Plans for Middle School
  • Lesson Plans for High School
  • Lesson Plans for All Ages
  • Manga and Anime
  • Free Comics for Educators
That website again: Comics in the Classroom: 100 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Teachers.

Big thanks for the tip to sister-in-law extraordinaire Alessandra Gillen, who in turn found this website listed on MetaFilter. Those among you who study comics or use comics in the classroom will be at turns encouraged, saddened, and horrified by the comments posted at the MetaFilter link. Many of them are textbook examples of people arguing "from the gut," knowledge or facts be damned. Sigh.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Fellowship Opportunity: Fisher Center Predoctoral Fellow (due March 1, 2008)

Note the broader interest in comics and graphic novels in addition to animation...

Feeling Animated? Not Sure If Your Project Fits?
Email Betty Bayer and Ask Her about this Pre-Doctoral Fellowship at BAYER@HWS.EDU

The Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is seeking a Predoctoral Fellow for the academic year 2008-2009 whose area of expertise falls within our theme of Animation (Making Life Graphic) and Gender.

By animation, we are interested in a broad spectrum of work, from film, comics and graphic novels through to ways performance and studio arts, science and technology and other disciplines (and interdisciplines) make life move and change. We seek dissertation scholars whose work critically engages the terms of our theme and are especially interested in candidates who would contribute to the diversity of the campus. The fellowship offers an opportunity to gain experience teaching in private liberal arts institutions while completing dissertation work, and carries a stipend of $30,000.00. Fellows will teach one course per semester, attend Fisher Center lectures and meetings, and present one colloquium.

Doctoral candidates nearing completion of dissertation must submit a one-page description of scholarship, a short statement on teaching interests, curriculum vitae, arrange to have three letters of reference, and a writing sample (e.g., chapter of dissertation). Completed applications are due by March 1, 2008 to:
Betty M. Bayer, Director
The Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men at Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva NY 14456
Information on the Center and the series can be found on our web site.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

New Journal Article on Ted Naifeh'’s "Polly and the Pirates"

Dale Jacobs, Associate Professor of English at the University of Windsor, announces his new publication. It looks to be of particular interest both to teachers and to scholars of comics' formal properties:

Jacobs, Dale. "More Than Words: Comics as a Means of Teaching Multiple Literacies." English Journal 96.3 (January 2007): 19-25.
Historically, comics have been viewed as a “debased or simplified word-based literacy,” explains Dale Jacobs, who considers comics to be complex, multimodal texts. Examining Ted Naifeh’'s Polly and the Pirates, Jacobs shows how comics can engage students in multiple literacies, furthering meaning-making practices in the classroom and beyond.
English Journal should be available in most academic libraries and/or via Interlibrary Loan.

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