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 Seminars by Picador Professor Alexander Chee  

201212Aug
Submitted by Dr. Florian Bast on Sun, 08/12/2012 - 14:56

The Graphic Novel

Mondays, 1-3 pm, GWZ 2 5.16.

A seminar reading contemporary graphic novels, memoirs, essays and stories, contextualizing them in relationship to both contemporary literary practice as well as comics, the German Expressionist picture novel, illustrated manuscripts, children's books and the illustrated novel. The course examines the literary modes of visual storytelling deployed in contemporary literary comics, and teaches students to read for technique. Also included: essays on visual culture and psychoanalysis. A midterm essay and final essay are required.

The readings for this class will include:

Best American Comics 2012 (this comes out Oct 2, 2012)
Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*!, by Art Spiegelman
Big Questions by Anders Nilsen
Logicomix, by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Chicken with Plums by Marjane Satrapi

Some of these books have been ordered at the Connewitzer Verlagsbuchhandlung and will be available there by mid September. Whichever bookseller you plan to use, please make sure to procur these books ahead of time. The first two books to be discussed will be Chicken with Plums and Logicomix.

You can apply for this class via email.

In order to attend this seminar bachelor students need to have passed the LC-II module. Master students and Magisterstudents in the Hauptstudium are welcome. Bachelor students may seek an Äquivalenzanerkennung to have this seminar count as one seminar of a later LC-III module. Magisterstudents, please note that the rules for using Picadorscheins apply for this course. Get in touch with your students advisors if you have any questions.
 

Imaginary Countries

Tuesdays, 1-3 pm, GWZ 3 5.15.

Given that the future and the past are, for the living, seen through acts of imagination, writers of contemporary historical and speculative fiction all invent a country for their purposes. These invented histories are meant to portray great shifts within a culture’s moral structure, and set characters within historic crises, imaginatively predicted ones, or imaginative acts that replace our history as a way to comment on it and our current culture both. We will read a sampling that makes use of the past, the future or an alternate present to reach past the conventional taboos of a culture—incest, murder, adultery—and find our way into other taboos, harder to speak of or to describe.

We will read for technique, as we write our way into the past or future or an imaginary present alongside this one, discussing the implications of inventing or reinventing a nation, the effects these novels achieve, their structures, and how we can learn from them to create our own. We will also dissect the narrative and aesthetic strategies employed in their creation, and workshop sections from the novels during the semester.

Students will be starting novels from scratch. The course will have weekly writing exercises in the first half, and exercises will focus on technique, based on the craft aspect we are
discussing in the works we're reading. At the midterm, we'll move to workshopping excerpts from students, so they can give each other feedback. The idea is to experiment with writing in the first half, and build a common vocabulary around the texts we read, and then use that common vocabulary to address what we see in the things that have
been written.

The readings for this class will include:

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Intuitionist
by Colson Whitehead
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson
The Passion by Jeanette Winterson

All of these books have been ordered at the Connewitzer Verlagsbuchhandlung and will be available there by mid September. Whichever bookseller you plan to use, please make sure to procur these books ahead of time. The first two books to be discussed will be Autobiography of Red and The Handmaid's Tale.

All students are welcome, but the number of spots is limited. Magisterstudents, please note that the rules for using Picadorscheins apply for this course. Get in touch with your students advisors if you have any questions.

You can apply for this class via email.

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