Comics in the classroom

An interesting read : this post on a Chronicle of Higher Education blog about comics in the classroom :

Last week many of us here at ProfHacker traveled out to George Mason University for THATCamp CHNM. I proposed a session on comics, and lots of great resources came out of the conversation as well as ideas about the possibilities of using the comic form to deliver accessible scholarship or to challenge students to engage differently with material in assignments. Comic-form scholarship is not a new idea–in the ProfHacker Summer Reading Guide, I recommended two books of this kind I’ve been re-reading: Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes and Alice in Sunderland. Nick Sousanis’s dissertation as comic takes the visual form to an inspiring extreme, reminiscent of Scott McCloud’s seminal comic texts. The same ideas can be applied to the digital, as conversions such as the CD version (with animations, billed as “interactive literature”) of Larry Gonick’s Cartoon History of the Universe and the many layers of Art Spiegelman’s Meta Maus demonstrate.

These examples point towards what working in the comic form can accomplish as an exercise for students as well as for us: it demands the conscious structure of visual and textual data with intention. It can be a great form for experimenting with multimedia and in particular remembering that a picture can be more than illustration—it can illuminate something that complements, contradicts or otherwise engages with the text.

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