30 credits at level HE7
This module explores the tension between verbal and iconic modes of representation in works for children – a tension that has resulted in some highly regarded literary/ artistic works. Terminology varies, but the module will explore some examples from illustrated novels, picture books, comics and manga/ graphic novels.
The historical context of each of these areas, together with their respective key figures, is explored. Students will be introduced to the rudiments of semiotics and general picture theory in order to help them develop a critical vocabulary for speaking about these dual-coded narratives.
The module is designed to show how material for children is far more diverse than that represented in traditional children’s novels. It begins with these, however, concentrating on the different ways texts have been illustrated, before moving on to works that are more centrally visual, the verbal elements often comprising minor sentences, verse, slang or onomatopoeic effects rather than traditional prose. This body of work includes not only picture books, but also material associated with popular culture – although much of it has subsequently become celebrated and valued in its own right; i.e. comics and graphic novels.
Studying visual images (imagology): introduction to terms and theory (semiotics and ‘visual theory’)
Brief history of children’s book illustration, with an emphasis on the twentieth/ twenty-first centuries.
Development of the picture book, concentrating on some key exponents of the genre.
History and significance of the comic in children’s culture.
History and significance of the graphic novel.
The module will consist of 13 three-hour sessions which will include short lectures by the tutor, whole class discussion and small group/tutorial work.
There will be two forms of assessment:
A close analysis of a section of text, with a stress on the visual manner in which the narrative is conveyed (2,500 – 3,000 words) (40%)
An essay integrating theoretical concerns with some of the visual narratives explored on this module (3,500 – 4,000 words) (60%)
when you have successfully completed this module you will:
to demonstrate that you have achieved the learning outcome you will:
|1.||have developed an understanding of the various codes and styles used in visual narration||analyse and evaluate the impact of various visual techniques for conveying narrative.|
|2.||have an appreciation of the interaction between visual and verbal codes.||discuss the interaction between visual and verbal codes.|
|3.||have a knowledge of the history of various sub-genres of visual narrative.||discuss texts in the context of their historical and cultural location, their style, influence and intertextuality|
Your achievement of the learning outcomes for this module will be tested as follows:
|Description||A close analysis of a section of text, with a stress on the visual manner in which the narrative is conveyed (2,500 – 3,000 words)||An essay integrating theoretical concerns with an analysis of some of the visual narratives explored on this module (3,500 – 4,000 words)|
There are no prerequisites for this module.
No restrictions apply.
Alderson, Brian (1986) Sing a Song for Sixpence: The English Picture Book Tradition and Randolph Caldecott. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Anstey, Michele and Bull, Geoff (2000) Reading the Visual; Written and Illustrated Children’s Literature. Australia: New South Wales: Harcourt
Arizpe, Evelyn and Styles, Morag (2002) Children Reading Pictures: Interpreting Visual Texts. London: RoutledgeFalmer
Barker, Martin (1989) Comics: Power, Ideology and the Critics. Manchester: Manchester University Press
Canemaker, John (1990) Winsor McCay: His Life and Art. New York: Abbeville Press
Carrier, David (2000) The Aesthetics of Comics. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press
Comic Art and Graffix Gallery (1992-2006) www.comic-art.com
Dalby, Richard (2001) The Golden Age of Children’s Book Illustration. London: Michael O’Mara
Doonan, Jane (1993) Looking at Pictures in Picture Books. Stroud: Thimble Press
Feaver, W. (1977) When We Were Young: Two Centuries of Children's Book Illustration. New York: Holt, Reinhart & Winston
Hancher, Michael (1985) The Tenniel Illustrations to the 'Alice' Books. ??: Ohio State University Press
Jones, Jo Elwyn and Gladstone, J. Francis (1998) The Alice Companion: A Guide to Lewis Carroll’s Alice Books. Basingstoke: Macmillan
Kress, Gunther and Leeuwen, Theo Van (2006) Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design, 2nd ed. London: Routledge
Lanes, Selma G. (1980) The Art of Maurice Sendak. London: Bodley Head
Lewis, David (2001) Reading Contemporary Picturebooks: Picturing Text. London: Routledge/Falmer
Martin, Douglas (comp.) (1980) The Telling Line. London: Julia Macrae Books
McCloud, Scott (1994) Understanding Comics: the Techniques, Philosophy and Interpretation of Comics. London: HarperCollins
McDonnell, Patrick (2004) Krazy Kat: The Comic Art of George Herriman. New York: Abrams
Mitchell, W.J.T. (1995) Picture Theory: Images of Verbal and Visual Representation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Nikolajeva, Maria (2001) How Picture Books Work. London: Garland
Nodelman, Perry (1989) Words about Pictures: The Narrative Art of Children’s Picture Books. London: University of Georgia Press
Ovenden, Graham and Davis, John (1979) The Illustrators of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, rev ed. London: Academy Editions.
Sabin, Roger (1997) Comics, Comix and Graphic novels: A History of Comic Art. London: Phaidon
Shlain, Leonard (1999) The Alphabet versus the Goddess: The Conflict between Word and Image. London: Allen Lane
Shulevitz, Uri (1997) Writing With Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Chldren’s Books. New York: Watson-Guptill
Spitz, Ellen Handler (1999) Inside Picture Books. London: Yale University Press
Thomas, Julia (ed) Reading Images. London: Palgrave 2000
Whalley, Joyce I. and Chester, Tessa R. (1988) A History of Children's Book Illustration. London: John Murray/ Victoria & Albert Museum
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