Teaching Comics, and Cultures of Production

Yes, long time, no blog, etc.

I have an epic post on TV of the 2000s that’s almost fully cooked, but in the meantime, due to popular demand, I’ve decided to post the syllabi for two courses I’ve been doing either very recently or right now.

The first is a course on comics I offered last fall, for the first time. Since this is a film and media program, I approached comics broadly as a medium, first engaging with the properties of the medium, and then moving into its cultural significance. Along the way, I tapped into a variety of film adaptations of comics, which we screened alongside reading their source materials. All in all a great class, with very engaged students (even among those who’d never read comics), and some excellent guests. There’s already demand to do it again, and I certainly will.

CTV 3395 syllabus (Comics- Fall 09)

The second course is one I’m just starting; indeed, I only finished the syllabus today! It’s on Cultures of Production, and is my first full-on teaching foray into Production Studies. Due to other obligations, I could only put this together somewhat/almost late in the day, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out. The basic idea is to work through some of the current key works in the field (mostly from John Caldwell and his collaborators) and meld the theory, methods, and case studies in the academic materials with some ongoing critical readings of the media/entertainment press and blogosphere (thank you, NBC!). In the last third or so of the course, we’ll pivot into the concept of participatory culture, ideally reading the work of Jenkins, Gray and others in relation to the work from earlier in the semester.

CTV 3395 syllabus (Cultures of Production – Spring 10)

nb – Each course has the same course number, since technically its a “Topics” course, at the moment.

I’ll try to keep you posted on how the current course is going, but I’d love some feedback on these syllabi, and your thoughts on teaching Production Studies to undergrads in particular. My basic tack is to get everyone involved with the concepts, arguments, and terrain of the industry circa 2010, but reserve the stickier details of theory and method for my MA students.

By the way, Happy 2010!

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