CSP 5 From Low Culture to High Art: The Evolution of Comics and Graphic Narrative in the 20th Century

Comic books were once viewed as the lowest form of mass culture, and even considered an intellectual and moral threat to young people. Today, "graphic literature" is a celebrated medium supported by a mainstream apparatus of publication and criticism. We will study the history of this hybrid medium, from its origins as disposable children's fare to its current array of serious adult genres (novels and short stories, memoir, documentary journalism, and biography). The emphasis will be on American comix, but some attention will be paid to international works in translation. This course may be particularly attractive to students interested in the creative arts and humanities, but the variety of course texts and contents should appeal to students with broad topical interests in 20th century history and culture.


4 units


Open only to first year frosh