Fall 2014 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Ingrao, Peter
Discipline and Number
HUMA 1301 Section 005
MWF Time 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM
Course Title
Exploration of the Humanities

Description of Course:

Zap! Bang! Pow! The American superhero represents a new and engaging manifestation of humankind's long association of visual and written narration not only for means of entertainment, but also as a stage for philosophical consideration and speculation upon culture and our relationship to the same as readers, consumers, and contributors. In focusing specifically upon such iconic figures as Superman and Batman, we will consider the evolution of the superhero from the dime and pulp novels of the 1930s through the revisionist narratives of the 1980s. Along the way, the importance of superheroes will be given treatment in terms of a variety of media, as well as from the perspective of a variety of viewpoints in addition to the cultural, to more fully understand our relation to these figures as they represent a continuing phenomena. Films such as The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel will be integral to understanding the continuing development of the superhero concept as it extends from the revisionist narratives of the 1980s. We will also view M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable to examine the synergy of life and art.

Required Texts:

Scott Mccloud, Understanding Comics
Bradford W. Wright, Comic Book Nation
Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Returns
Alex Ross, Kingdom Come

Contextual readings, as well as a selection of short pulp or dime novels, will be provided through eLearning or e-reserve.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Two exams
Short essay
Project on a superhero

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