In this introductory-level course we will explore the genealogies of underground, alternative, and radical comics in the United States, focusing on how unconventional comics relate to ideas about popular culture, underground cultures, and politics of race, gender, sexuality, and class. Course readings will include comics, critical and theoretical readings, and histories; we will make extensive use of the Underground and Independent Comics Database. In addition to exploring this subject matter, the course will also focus significant attention on critical reading and writing. Students will complete weekly reading responses; write two short papers; and propose, write, and revise an 8-10 page research essay.
TRIGGER WARNING: Some of the assigned material this semester involves explicit depictions of violence, including sexual violence and incest. I will give students warnings about these assigned readings, but there may be times when such triggering material enters into class discussions and presentations without adequate warning. In both cases, any student is welcome to step out of the room to take a break, or leave class for the day if needed. However, our database of comics presents a larger minefield of triggers. If you are concerned about your ability to navigate this course material, please come speak to me or the T.A. early in the semester.