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Multimodality inComics Teaching and ScholarshipRoger T. WhitsonWashington State Universityhttp://www.rogerwhitson.net@rogerwhitson
Purpose• Discuss the creation, not simply the study,of comics.• Examine comics within literature, writing,and multimodal composition classrooms.• Explore the value of comics for multimodalresearch and argumentation inscholarship.
The fundamental purpose of education ―is to ensure that all students benefit from learningin ways that allow them to participate fully in public, community, and economic life. […]Literacy pedagogy has traditionally meant teaching and learning to read in page-bound,official, standard forms of the national language. Literacy pedagogy, in other words, hasbeen a carefully restricted project—restricted to formalized, monolingual, and rule governedforms of language.‖ –New London Group, ―A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing SocialFutures.‖
Script from Brian Wood for Northlanders #11: ―The Cross + The Hammer,‖ p. 2
Panels from Ryan Kelly for Northlanders #11: ―The Cross + The Hammer,‖ p. 2
Questions:1. How do these panels appeal toNorthlanders readership?2. Why does Ryan Kelly insert three Mercsinstead of two? (Wood says 2 or 3).3. How does Kelly induce a sense ofopenness in the panels, which Woodasks for in the script?
Comics teach multimodal literacy• Students learn literacy best with *guided, deliberatepractice.• Multimodal communication teaches students to bedeliberate with choices concerning *audience,purpose, and appeals better than monomodalwriting or reading does.• The multimodal character of sequential art is apowerful tool for teaching students to thoughtfullyuse modalities in tandem with one another, as wellas learn their affordances and switch between them.*Kellogg and Whiteford. “Training Advanced Writing Skills: The Case for DeliberatePractice.” Educational Psychologist. 44.4 (2009): 250-66.*Hart-Davidson. “Changing Modes to Focus on the Moves: Multimodal Writing &Outcomes-Based Evaluation of Communication Learning Goals.” Washington StateUniversity, Pullman, 8 May 2013.
Outcomes/Issues• Time to complete a comic book• Issues with collaboration• Fitting a comics assignment into a writing-centered curriculum• Relation between teaching the method ofcreating comics and teaching the culturalcritique of comics• Rubric• Breaking Up the Assignment
Brainstorm / Plan (15 minutes)• Look up your own program’s outcomesstatement for the introductory class in yourdiscipline. (2 minutes)• Share with a partner. Discuss strategies forincorporating a comics assignment into yourintro class. (3 minutes)• Draft a basic rubric with general fields ofassessment for your assignment. (5 minutes)• Share with us! (5 minutes)
Why Compose Scholarship as Comics?“I find that my thoughts when I’m out running achieve a certain sort ofclarity that when I sit down to compose on a lined sheet of paper orkeyboard never quite takes shape. Even my straight text writing, emergesfrom organizing thoughts spatially on a sheet of paper. So partly, I justthink thats how we think, or at least I do. […] Together though, I oftenfind I can say more than I can with text alone, and often say it with less.Comics force you to leave out a lot and preserve empty spaces; for me atleast, it’s like having a built in editor!”--Nick Sousanis, Interview w/ Cathy Davidsonhttp://bit.ly/A44KTQ
• Engages Your Whole Mind• Creates a Visual Map• Helps Your Concentration• Taps Your Visual Language• Relaxing• Dynamic and Fun!--Mike Rhode, ContentsMike Rhode. The SketchnoteHandbook. San Francisco:Peachpit, 2013.
Liz Losh, John Alexander, Kevin Cannon, and Zander Cannon. UnderstandingRhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing. New York: Bedford/St. Martin, 2013.
Robert Berry and Gene Kannenberg. ―Digital Collaborative Scholarship ThroughComics.‖ Unpublished.
Nick Sousanis ―Annotations to Comics Dissertation.‖ Unpublished.
Aaron Humphrey, ―Lecture and Authority in Educational Comics:Introduction Foucault and Derrida for Beginners.‖ Unpublished.
Comic Book ―Speed Dating‖ (15 minutes)• Find someone who is different from you,someone you don’t know. (2 minutes)• Share your current and recent non-comicsrelated study/research projects. (3 minutes)• Devise a collaborative research project thatwould 1) integrate both of your researchinterests; and 2) work well in the medium ofsequential art. (5 minutes)• Share it with us! (5 minutes)Taken and Modified from LeeannHunter’s “Academic Speed Dating.”