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✪ graphicwriting.blogspot.com/ tr 2:00–3:50 ✪ ✪ sturm 210 ————— . john tiedemann ✪ ✪ john.tiedemann@du.edu office: anderson academic ✪ ✪ office hours: w 12–2, r 4–6, and
commons 380U. .. by appointment

fsem 1111-62 ✪

✪ the class
The humble comic book, once derided as a frivolous form of adolescent entertainment, has in recent decades given rise to an array of innovative artistic forms that address themes formerly reserved for high culture and academia. The mysteries of sex and death, the ambiguities of history and politics, the arcana of philosophy and pure mathematics: all this and more can be found in the pages of today’s graphic novels, manga, webcomics, and motion comics. In this course, we will examine the unique opportunities for cross-cultural meaning-making afforded by the combination of words and pictures in contemporary “graphic writing.” We will consider how the mixed medium of graphic writing enables its creators to tell stories that cut across boundaries of race, nation, gender, class, religion, and sexuality. In addition to reading and writing about graphic texts, students will create a piece of graphic writing of their own, visit with working artists and writers, and present their own work at a class colloquium. (Please note that you do not need to be able to draw to take this course.)

✪ course texts
• • • • • • Craig Thompson, Blankets. Alison Bechdel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. Christy Road, Indestructible. Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece, Incognegro. Art Spiegelman, Maus: A Survivor’s Tale. Joe Sacco, Palestine.

You can purchase our course texts via this Amazon list: http://goo.gl/qAIfK. Of course, you are also free to purchase them via another online bookseller or at a local bookseller such as the Tattered Cover (http://www.tatteredcover.com/). But you must acquire a copy of Craig Thompson’s Blankets in time to read the chapters assigned for the first day of class. Supplementary readings will be made available on Blackboard: https://blackboard.du.edu/.

✪ major projects
In addition to completing weekly readings and informal writing assignments, initiating class discussions, and taking part in our conversations in and out of class, students will undertake two major projects: • In the first, students will create a piece of graphic writing of their own, combining words and pictures to tell a story of cultural difference. • In the second, students will write a critical analysis of a piece of graphic writing, applying concepts learned from our scholarly readings to a graphic text of their choosing. Students will design their projects in consultation with me and will complete them in stages, drafting and revising in response to feedback from their teacher and classmates. Students will exhibit their work at a class colloquium open to the University community.

✪ course goals and expectations
The goals of the First-Year Seminars are: 1. To discover what it means to be an active member of an intellectual community by meeting rigorous academic expectations through critical reading, discussion, research, and/or writing. 2. To practice newly acquired skills in an active learning environment. 3. To foster a strong academic advising relationships between teacher and students. To those ends and per our Discoveries Week discussions, you will: 1. Aim to be able to teach what you’ve learned in class. 2. Help your classmates to develop and present their ideas by leading class discussion and participating actively in in-class workshops and off-campus outings. 3. Meet regularly with me to discuss your work in our class and your other classes and to plan for your future at DU.

✪ policies
• Engagement I expect you all to be active learners and thoughtful collaborators, committed to the material, your work, and your peers’ learning. Your level of engagement is made manifest in a number of ways, including participation in class discussions, in workshops, in homework assignments, and in your efforts to improve not only your own learning experience and that of the class. I will assess your engagement as follows: • “Superior” engagement means that the student is always prepared, often adding additional insights to online discussion and providing extensive feedback to writing. S/he demonstrates active learning via consistently perceptive and energetic engagement with the material, his or her peers, and the teacher. • “Average” engagement means that the student generally seems prepared. Generally, his or her participation in discussion seems to encourage and support others in the class. The student’s presence is productive. • “Weak” engagement means that the student’s participation is listless, lackluster, or only intermittent.

• Attendance Because interaction with others is a vital part of learning, I expect you to attend every class meeting and scheduled conference. You are allowed two absences without penalty; for each absence after the second one, your engagement grade will drop by a letter (e.g., from an A to a B, a B to a C, etc.). If I determine that excessive absences have prevented you from meeting the goals of the course, you may fail. If you miss a class, you are personally responsible for learning about any missed material or assignments, either from classmates or from our blog. I make no distinction between excused and unexcused absences, so save yours for illness or emergency. • Late Work Assignments are due when they are due. I will accept late work only if you have cleared the lateness with me in advance, and then only under the most extenuating circumstances. An assignment that is turned in late without clearance will be graded down a third of a letter grade (e.g., from an A to an A–, from an A– to a B+) for each day it’s late.

• Civility and Tolerance This class affirms DU’s Code of Student Conduct (http://www.du.edu/ccs/code.html), which in part “expects students to recognize the strength of personal differences while respecting institutional values.” Because writing courses rely heavily on interactions between all members of the class, students and faculty must act in a manner respectful of different positions and perspectives. A student who behaves in an uncivil or intolerant manner will be asked to stop and/or formally reprimanded and/or subject to action by the Office of Citizenship and Community Standards. Becoming educated requires encountering new ideas and information, some of which may conflict with an individual’s existing knowledge or perspectives. I expect students to engage such materials thoughtfully, in ways that reflect the values and mission of the University of Denver • Accommodations for Students with Disabilities I will provide reasonable accommodations to any student who has a disability that has been documented by The University of Denver Disability Services Program (www.du.edu/disability/dsp or 303.871.2455).

• Plagiarism I follow the Council of Writing Program Administrators policy “Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism,” which states: “In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source” (http://wpacouncil.org/node/9). DU’s Honor Code also maintains that all members of the University must responsibly use the work of others. Students who have plagiarized a project will receive an F on that project, and I will inform the Office of Community and Citizenship Standards, which may take further action. Any documented acts of plagiarism after the first may be subject to more severe actions. • Using digital devices Students should bring laptops to class when we’re scheduled to work on papers. They are free to bring them to class on other days, too. However, students are not to check email, play games, check Facebook, etc., as such behavior disrupts learning. Also, students are not take audio recordings, videos, photos, or other digital recordings of class without obtaining my permission in advance, as this, too, can inhibit learning.

✪ grades
For each of your projects, you will share a draft with your peers to solicit their feedback, revise in response to that feedback, and then turn a draft in to me. I will assign a provisional grade to that draft, along with my suggestions for revision. That provisional grade will rise, fall, or stay the same depending upon how effectively you revise as you complete your final draft. Final drafts of both projects are due to me by noon on Thursday, Nov. 21. Your final grade will be calculated as follows: • Project 1: 40% • Project 2: 40% • Engagement: 20%

✪ course calendar
T Sept. 10: Read Craig Thompson, Blankets, chapters I–III, and watch the Scott McCloud video on the blog. R Sept. 12: Read Thompson, Blankets, chapters IV–VI, and selection on Blackboard from Alan Moore, Writing for Comics (TBA). T Sept. 17: Read Thompson, Blankets, chapters VII–IX, and selection on Blackboard from Alan Moore, Writing for Comics (TBA). R Sept. 19: Read Alison Bechdel, Fun Home, chapters 1–3, and Hunt, Corris, and Lomas, Art, Word and Image: 2,000 Years of Visual/Textual Interaction (on Blackboard). T Sept. 24: Read Bechdel, Fun Home, chapters 4 and 5, and Hillary Chute, “Comics Form and Narrating Lives” (on Blackboard). R Sept. 26: Read Bechdel, Fun Home, chapters 6 and 7, and David Applegate, “Coming Out in the Comic Strips” (on Blackboard). T Oct. 1: Read Cristy Road, Indestructible, and Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style (on Blackboard).

✪ course calendar (cont’d.)
R Oct. 3: Read Road, Indestructible, and Frederick Luis Aldama, This Is Your Brain on Latino Comics (on Blackboard). T Oct. 8: Workshop: Drafting Project 1. R Oct. 10: Workshop: Revising Project 1. T Oct. 15: Read Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece, Incognegro, Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics (on Blackboard). R Oct. 17: Read Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece, Incognegro, and Duffy, Jennings, and Knight, Black Comix: African American Independent Comics, Art, and Culture (on Blackboard). Read Art Spiegelman, Maus, Book I, and the selection on Blackboard from Will Eisner, Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative (TBA). R Oct. 24: Read Spiegelman, Maus, Book II, chapters 1 and 2, and the selection on Blackboard from From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books.

T Oct. 22:

✪ course calendar (cont’d.)
T Oct. 29: Read Spiegelman, Maus, Book II, chapters 3–5, and the selection on Blackboard from Will Eisner, Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative (TBA). R Oct. 31: Read Joe Sacco, Palestine (TBA), and Aldama and Royal, Multicultural Comics (on Blackboard). T Nov. 5: R Nov. 7: Read Sacco, Palestine (TBA). Read Sacco, Palestine (TBA).

T Nov. 12: Workshop: Drafting Project 2. R Nov. 14: Workshop: Revising Project 2. Final drafts of both projects are due to me by noon on Thursday, Nov. 21.

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