Comics Alternative Special: A Roundtable Discussion on Teaching Comics

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School Days

The Two Guys are back with another special episode of The Comics Alternative, and, just in time for the new school year, this time they hold a roundtable discussion on teaching comics. Joining them are Randy Duncan and Matthew J. Smith. They, along with Paul Levitz, are PowerComicsthe coauthors of The Power of Comics: History, Form, and Culture (Bloomsbury Academic), the first real textbook devoted to comics that was just recently released in its second edition. In fact, Derek begins the conversation by asking Matt and Randy about their experiences pulling together the project, some of the challenges they faced creating a comics-centered textbook, and what kind of feedback they have received from instructors using it. But the conversation soon transitions into a larger discussion of comics in the classrooms, e.g., strategies for teaching, the hard choices when creating syllabi, negotiating student expectations, reading lists and text availability, assignments that reflect the medium, and course focus on specific comics topics. All four of the discussants have taught comics many times over the year, and each brings to the conversation their unique experiences and recommendations. Whether you are an educator with years of teaching graphic novels under your belt, an instructor contemplating teaching comics for the first time, a student who’s always wanted to read this kind of material in the classroom, a pedagogical theorist curious about the potential of the medium, or just a reader who’s interested in serious comics talk, this is an episode has something for you.

Randy Duncan and Matt Smith, in both their teacherly and heroic guises.

Randy Duncan and Matt Smith, in both their teacherly and heroic guises.

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The Comics Alternative is a podcast and blog focused on the world of alternative, independent, and primarily non-superhero comics.

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