Title

Alternative Points of View: Graphic Novels for Critical Media Literacy

Type of Presentation

Individual presentation

Brief Description of Presentation

In the culture of standardized testing, the graphic novel, a medium that appeals to young people, can also offer them stories, ideas, and information to promote critical thinking in general, and especially about American society. A number of graphic novels deal with prejudice, racism, and inequality. These graphic novels offer alternative points of view. This paper will examine several graphic novels and what the literature says about classroom use. Participants will have the opportunity to examine and discuss part of one graphic novel themselves.

Abstract of Proposal

The mass media remain homogenous, superficial, and unrepresentative of many Americans today. The term “neoliberalism” itself is unused and unknown among most Americans; indeed, how many/who would seriously challenge free market capitalism, systemic social injustice, or a political system dominated by big money? Thus the need for alternative media as proclaimed by Project Censored some years ago: “A free flow of ideas will only happen outside of corporate media, outside of the government-corporate spin doctors”(The Progressive Guide to Alternative Media and Activism,1999, p.13). One medium with potential for offering alternative points of view is the graphic novel. The graphic novel, grown up version of the comic book, emerged under the influence of the “comix” of the 1960s, a self-published medium and radical departure from Superman or Archie, taking on serious adult topics like the Viet Nam War. A number of contemporary creators like Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, and the late Harvey Pekar developed a sense that what is called the graphic novel could offer insights into subjects as diverse as the Holocaust, the history of the 1960s student movement, and responses to 9/11. Educators, too, are beginning to notice that the graphic novel can enrich the classroom by offering varied, unheard voices. This paper will focus particularly on three of those graphic novels, examining how they can successfully foster students’ critical engagement with the media and media accounts of history and economics.

Location

Coastal Georgia Center

Start Date

3-26-2016 12:50 PM

End Date

3-26-2016 2:20 PM

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Mar 26th, 12:50 PM Mar 26th, 2:20 PM

Alternative Points of View: Graphic Novels for Critical Media Literacy

Coastal Georgia Center

The mass media remain homogenous, superficial, and unrepresentative of many Americans today. The term “neoliberalism” itself is unused and unknown among most Americans; indeed, how many/who would seriously challenge free market capitalism, systemic social injustice, or a political system dominated by big money? Thus the need for alternative media as proclaimed by Project Censored some years ago: “A free flow of ideas will only happen outside of corporate media, outside of the government-corporate spin doctors”(The Progressive Guide to Alternative Media and Activism,1999, p.13). One medium with potential for offering alternative points of view is the graphic novel. The graphic novel, grown up version of the comic book, emerged under the influence of the “comix” of the 1960s, a self-published medium and radical departure from Superman or Archie, taking on serious adult topics like the Viet Nam War. A number of contemporary creators like Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, and the late Harvey Pekar developed a sense that what is called the graphic novel could offer insights into subjects as diverse as the Holocaust, the history of the 1960s student movement, and responses to 9/11. Educators, too, are beginning to notice that the graphic novel can enrich the classroom by offering varied, unheard voices. This paper will focus particularly on three of those graphic novels, examining how they can successfully foster students’ critical engagement with the media and media accounts of history and economics.