Fall 2015 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
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 where superheroes appear as reflections of or reactions to social and cultural standards. Beginning with the influence of dime and pulp novels of the 1930s upon the formation of such iconic superheroes as Batman, 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, to more fully understand our relation to these figures as they represent a continuing phenomena. Films, such as The Dark Knight and X-Men: First Class, will be integral to answering such questions as what makes someone a hero, and what makes that hero "super"?; to understanding the continuing development of the superhero concept in its steadily popular transition from print to screen; and to discussing how though we might not possess superpowers, superheroes inspire us to be responsible consumers of and contributors to culture.
Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics
Bradford W. Wright, Comic Book Nation
John Layman and Jason Fabok, Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 4: The Wrath
Mark Waid and Alex Ross, Kingdom Come
Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, Civil War
Contextual readings, a selection of short pulp or dime novels, and a selection from Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 4: Clay, will be provided through eLearning or e-reserve.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Project on a superhero