I’m always on the lookout for Coursera courses from which I can learn more, both to improve my writing as well as to expand my knowledge and my discriminating skills.
I’m more than glad to share my finds with all those of you who want to try something new and challenge themselves, and this looks like a wonderful, thought-provoking course.
The course is helmed by Prof. William Kuskin, from Univeristy of Colorado Boulder, starts on 23rd September, 2013 – Monday, and will last about seven weeks.
This is from the course headline:
“The comic book pamphlet developed as an independent literary form in the 1930s and early 1940s and has been a favorite of adolescent enthusiasts and cult devotees ever since. Recently, it has entered into a process of transformation, moving from a species of pulp fiction on the margins of childrenâs literature to an autonomous genre, one Will Eisner labeled the graphic novel. This transformation has been noted in such literary venues as the New York Times and the New Yorker, as well as in an increasing number of university classrooms and bookstore shelves.
“Comic Books and Graphic Novelsâ presents a survey of the history of American comics and a review of major graphic novels circulating in the U. S. today. It is focused on three main points. First, it argues that as comics develop in concert with, and participate in literary culture, they should be considered literature. Second, it reasons that such a designation forces us to redefine our concept of literature itself. Finally, it explores this transformative literary world by arguing that comics have much to teach us about ourselves.”
Some wonderful quotes boding well for this upcoming course I took from the introductory video:
– “Comics allow me to teach the bedrock of humanist skills.”
– “Where teaching traditional literature takes me a long time to evolve the study of language and the historical context, with comics I can cut to the story – right away!”
– “Mooks and Comics democratise higher education.”
– “My goal for this course is to bring you the humanities through comics.”
– “I have four specific goals of what I hope to teach you:”
1) “I hope to teach you something of comic book history. Over the past hundred and ten years, comics have evolved through a number of different changes, and I hope to sketch that out for you.”
2) “I also hope to teach you a flexible, interpretive framework for understanding how comics work; for understanding how creators and illustrators get to the heart of the story. I hope that opens up comic books for you and gives you a deeper appreciation and enjoyment of what they are.”
3) “I hope to teach you to express that appreciation more effectively. Writing has some basic principles, and I believe I can communicate that to you, quickly and effectively, in a way that will help all your writing – wheter you’re writing collegial essays, or whether you’re writing a memo to your boss, I can shape your writing a little bit, and help you communicate more effectively.”
4) “I hope that in writing and thinking about comics, you get to know your own imagination a little better. Because comics are about the imagination, and they depend on your imagination to bring them to life. That brings me to my larger point: we live in a strange world right now. I don’t need to go on about this, but we live in a world of change, a world that’s somewhat scary. In this world, we need stories; we need stories to help us figure out where we’ve been, and where we’re going. Stories help us live. They help us breathe in a world of change. They allow us to reflect on who we are and where we’re going. And comic books tell those stories – powerfully. They give us great heroes and they give us human situations, and they help us think through how we might encounter those situations. So this world is strange, and it’s changing, but art is generative. With art, there’s always hope . Comics are a great art, and by reading them and thinking about them, we would be part of the world of hope.”
 Usually used to refer to generic goons in TV and role-playing games.
This is the link to the Coursera course: https://www.coursera.org/course/comics.
See you there in less than a month – it’s free!
* Just a reminder:
The Wesleyan University Coursera course “The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound, and Color,” helmed by Professor Scott Higgins, will start again on 16 September 2013, Monday.
Check out my post about the course here: http://www.worldofcredence.com/the-language-of-hollywood-storytelling-sound-and-color.
And this is the Coursera course link: https://www.coursera.org/course/hollywood.