Upper-Division Seminar: Graphic Novel & Trauma

Course Number: ENGL 197
Prerequisites: Check on GOLD
Advisory Enrollment Information: This course cannot be repeated and is limited to upper-division English majors only.
General Education Areas Fulfilled: Check on GOLD
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 197
Quarter: Spring 2019
Instructor: Samolsky, Russell
Day(s): TBD
Time: TBD
Location: TBD

Our concern in this class will be less with superheroes and more with the way in which the graphic novel engages the representation of global sites of conflict and atrocity. Beginning with the Jewish Holocaust and working our way to Iran, Lebanon, Israel, and New York on 9/11, we shall examine how the graphic novel takes up such ethical problems as the limits of representation, the relationship between fiction and testimony, as well as that between trauma, memory, and mourning. We shall also deal with questions of moral responsibility and accountability with regard to acts of torture. The class concludes with an examination of historical and contemporary trauma in America. While these will be our predominant concerns, we shall also look into how graphic novels self-referentially comment upon their process of artistic composition as well as upon the very form of the comic itself.