Develop your understanding of comics with a survey of contemporary graphic narratives

The comics that we read have a way of insinuating themselves into the work that we make. Whether it's your childhood love of Peanuts or your teenage obsession with Batman, the themes, characters and page dynamics return to us. 

In Modern Comics Exploration, develop a critical eye and practice the language of comics through weekly readings, online discussions and responses to questions about the unique art and literary form that is comics! 

Weekly live Zoom meetings

6 Weekly Zoom calls on Mondays, 8 pm Eastern:

  1. Nov 1 - Week 1: Autobiographical Comics: How True is Truth?

  2. Nov 8 - Week 2: Strip Tease: Newspapers and Beyond!

  3. Nov 15 - Week 3: Combatting Marginality

  4. Nov 22 - Week 4: Drawing Space and Time

  5. Nov 29- Week 5: Webcomics

  6. Dec 6 - Week 6: Manga Aesthetics

What's included

  • Weekly critical and creative readings

  • Weekly Zoom call, archived for reference

  • Online discussion forum

  • Direct feedback and engagement from Instructor

Course curriculum

  • 01
    00 - Introduction to Modern Comics Exploration
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    • Course details
    • Introduction to Modern Comics Exploration
    • What is a Graphic Novel by Jessica Abel
    • How to Read Nancy
    • Scott McCloud - Stories for Humans
    • Writing about Comics and Graphic Novels
    • (Optional) How to Make Comics and Cartoons by Liana Finck
  • 02
    Week 1: Autobiographical Comics: How True is Truth?
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    • Week 1: Autobiographical Comics: How True is Truth?
    • One! Hundred! Demons! by Lynda Barry
    • Coyote the Beautiful by Coyote Shook
    • Keyword of the Week - MEMOIR
  • 03
    Week 2: Strip Tease: Newspapers and Beyond!
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    • Week 2: Strip Tease: Newspapers and Beyond!
    • Keyword of the Week - COMIC STRIP
  • 04
    Week 3: Combatting Marginality
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    • Week 3: Combatting Marginality
    • Chan Chau: Parts of Us
    • Nivedita Sekar: Your Heart is an Apple
    • The Saddest Angriest Black Girl in Town
    • Keyword of the Week - RACE
  • 05
    Week 4: Drawing Space and Time
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    • Week 4: Drawing Space and Time
    • On a Sunbeam PDF
    • Keyword of the Week - GRAPHIC NOVEL
  • 06
    Week 5: Webcomics
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    • Week 5: Webcomics
    • Keyword of the Week - WEBCOMICS
  • 07
    Week 6: Manga Aesthetics
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    • Week 6: Manga Aesthetics
    • Keyword of the Week - MANGA
    • Final Assignment - Session 2 - An Image in a Ruin
  • Ayanni Cooper

    Instructor Bio:

    Ayanni C. H. Cooper (née Hanna; she/her) is a Ph.D. candidate in the English Department at the University of Florida, where she focuses on Comic Studies & Animation. A graduate of CUNY Brooklyn College's English M.A. program, her research interests include monster theory; feminist critique; gender & sexuality; science fiction & fantasy; representations of Blackness in speculative fiction; and anime & manga studies. Her dissertation project analyzes representations of desire for the monstrous body in recent comics, animation, and other illustrated media. Ayanni's M.A. thesis focused on the French comic series Sky Doll, paying particular attention a series of in-text arguments surrounding womanness and humanness.

    Ayanni also co-hosts the podcast Sex. Love. Literature., which takes a semi-scholarly look at why the “sex-stuff” in media matters. When not dissertating, she enjoys playing Destiny with her family (#TitanMain), finding new cartoons to watch/comics to read, and making friends with the neighborhood cats. She lives with her husband Andrew and their chonky cats, Chloe and Grey Ghost, in San Antonio, TX.

    Ayanni Cooper

    Instructor