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With the graphic novel genre at an all-time high in popularity, Missouri State University will be offering a course through the English Department that will focus on this area of literature exclusively. KSMU’s Justin Lux has the story.
After meeting with English Department head, Dr. W.D. Blackmon, course instructor Jen Murvin Edwards decided that the graphic novel genre was not something that the department studied formally.
The two came to the conclusion that the class was something that the department wanted to offer to students as a full course of study. Edwards says in the last 20 years, graphic novels have begun to emerge as viable literature and as such, the genre deserves respect.
“For this class my goal is to illustrate to the university and our department, whose been extremely supportive, that this genre is valid and deserves an equal footing with poetry, fiction and non-fiction,” Edwards says.
The one week intercession course, which will run August 9 through August 13, will be open to members of the community for non-credit. The course will allow students the opportunity to focus not only on the literary criticism of the novels, but they will also be learning the art of developing a graphic novel.
Edwards is hopeful that one of the more positive results of this course will be the relationship that will develop between students in the English and Art Departments.
“Students that are writing in our department and who are just writers, will need to collaborate with an artist from the Art Department and it’s my hope that out of this course we’ll really be embracing an interdisciplinary approach to what is a great literary and art-form, combined together,” she said.
The course will also feature a guest appearance by graphic novelist Matt Kindt, an award-winning writer and artist. Kindt’s graphic novel “3 Story” is being made into a movie and will be directed by Dustin Lance Black, an Oscar-winning screenwriter for his screenplay in the movie “Milk."
For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.