ENGLISH 418 - The Graphic Narrative
Fall 2020, Section 001 - World War II in Comics
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Rackham Information:
Rackham credit requires additional work.
Primary Instructor:


The medium of comics has been an important space for preserving history and memories associated with World War II, as is evident in well-known texts like Art Spiegelman’s Maus but also in the lesser-known Barefoot Gen, a manga by Keiji Nakazawa about his experiences surviving the bombing of Hiroshima, and Shigeru Mizuki’s Hitler, a manga chronicling Hitler’s rise to and fall from power. And World War II persists even today as a narrative engine for comics: Mike Mignola set Hellboy’s origin story during World War II; Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing Is Monsters has at its core the surprising story of one Holocaust survivor; and the list goes on—comics from the last few years preoccupied with World War II include Son of Hitler, Simon Says, I Killed Adolf Hitler, and others. Clearly, comics have an ongoing relationship with this historical moment. This course will explore the nature of this relationship: Why does this particular medium have such a close kinship with World War II? What can comics tell us about the war that they are uniquely suited to tell us—perhaps that they alone can tell us?

Course Requirements:

Work for this course will include 4 short papers (~600 words) and 2 longer papers (~2000 words). This course will also require students to do some drawing. Don’t let this scare you; drawing skill will not be a factor of evaluation. Drawing in this course is a way of thinking, so far more important than level of skill apparent in any drawing you do is what thoughtfulness and engagement you make apparent.

Intended Audience:

Online-only students are welcome!

Class Format:

Exams: Asynchronous and Online

Lectures: Asynchronous and Online

Class Discussions: Asynchronous and Online


ENGLISH 418 - The Graphic Narrative
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)

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