Are you interested in comics? Then you might enjoy learning with comics in this seminar. What do we do in this seminar? We use American comics to learn about design, culture, and social issues. To conduct your research, you will focus on making careful observations of images and texts in comics to identify patterns. Making careful observations is a practical work skill that you can use in the future.
In the spring semester of the 3rd year, we focus on design. We make careful observations of how comic artists use color, lines, symbols, and lettering to create meaning. At the end of the semester, students use what they’ve learned about design to make advertising posters. The skills that students learn from this project can be used for designing PowerPoints, websites, advertisements, pamphlets, and fliers in the future.
In the Fall semester of the 3rd year, we focus on culture and social issues. Using American comics, students will learn about American culture, and will also learn that culture is not always connected to nationality or ethnicity. Other types of social groups also possess culture. Students will also examine social issues such as race, gender, and social class. These issues are linked to sustainable development goals (SDGs). By increasing their knowledge and awareness of culture and social issues, students will be better prepared to work with people from different cultures and social backgrounds in the future.
In the 4th year of the seminar, students work on their independent research. Students have a lot of freedom in choosing the topic to research as long as they can connect the topic to comics. Here are some examples of topics that students have researched in the past:
The Effect of Color on Emotions in Comics
Wabi-sabi, Zen Sprit, and the Philosophy of The Peanuts
The Portrayal of Cyberbullying in American Comics and Political Cartoons
Examining the Similarities and Differences in American and Japanese Educational Comics
The Need to Make Symbols in Anime and Manga Easier to Understand for the International Market
How Social Media Affect Politics in Prez and How It Compares to Reality
An Exploration of Food Culture in Comics
If this sounds interesting, why don’t you join us at Setsunan University!