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Comics and Graphic Novels

A guide for students or faculty to learn more about comics and graphic novels for research, learning, and enjoyment.

PSC 394/ART 395: Politics and the Graphic Novel

Instructor: Dr. Jeffery Lewis

Semester: Fall 2022

Time: T/Th 2:00P - 3:15P

Description: Students taking this course will read graphic novels that can shed new light on how Political Science can think about important issues with contemporary significance and potential consequences for future change. Each topic is anchored in an exemplar graphic novel, and spans traditional disciplinary boundaries with rich insight. At the broadest level, the graphic novel (or more generally speaking "comics") allows one to "think big" about how humanity is shaped by diverse forces including economics, law, regulation, state authority, legitimacy, myth, ideology, organized violence, protest, social movements, collective identities, and catastrophic events/trauma. Students will also learn about how comics are made and how the vocabulary of  the "sequential art" form provide a visual culture and form of "seeing that can be deeply illuminating. 

Readings will include: 

  • Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
  • Kings in Disguise by James Vance and Dan Burr
  • Paying the Land by Joe Sacco
  • Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio by Derf Backderg
  • The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion by Will Eisner
  • Yossel, April 19, 1943 by Joe Kubert
  • Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia by Joe Sacco