CHID 250 E: Special Topics: Introduction To The History Of Ideas

Superheroines

Course Flyer: 
Summer Term: 
Full-term
Meeting Time: 
MW 1:10pm - 3:20pm
Location: 
MGH 085
SLN: 
10772
Instructor:
Nancy White Iff

Syllabus Description:

The industry of comics has been dominated by superhero comics since their inception in the early 1940s, and these will be our primary concern in this course. This quarter, we will focus on the FEMALE superhero, moving from the original archetype of the superheroine, Wonder Woman (in the 1940s), to some of her modern counterparts, including Dark Phoenix, Batwoman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ms. Marvel, and Jessica Jones. As such, we will read many superhero and action comics as well as theoretical works that help us to question comics as a form of literature.  We will also screen film adaptations of some of the works in order to interrogate the intersections of the differing media of film, television, and comics. The course will look at the historic time periods in which these works were produced in order to consider how political and social influences have affected the medium of comics. Additionally, given the focus on the female superhero, we will consider the ways in which gender affects how these characters have been created, received, and depicted.

Additional Details:

This course acts as an introduction to media studies, specifically to comics and graphic novels.  The industry of comics has been dominated by superhero comics since their inception in the early 1940s, and these will be our primary concern in this course. This quarter, we will focus on the FEMALE superhero, moving from the original archetype of the superheroine, Wonder Woman (in the 1940s), to some of her modern counterparts. As such, we will read many superhero and action comics as well as theoretical works that help us to question comics as a form of literature, such as Umberto Eco’s “The Myth of Superman,” Geoff Klock’s How to Read Superhero Comics and Why, and Jill Lepore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman.  We will also screen film adaptations of some of the works in order to interrogate the intersections of the differing media of film, television, and comics. Some questions we will investigate are:  How is a comic a text?  Who is its author?  What decisions (both technical and narrative) must be made in the composition of a page, and who makes them? What events in comics history have changed the industry and how have they had an impact on narrative? Additionally, given the focus on the female superhero, we will consider how female superheroes have been created and received differently from male ones

Catalog Description: 
Examines a different subject or problem from a comparative framework. Satisfies the Gateways major/minor requirement. Offered: AWSp.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Credits: 
5.0
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
August 4, 2017 - 9:12pm