The Graphic Novel: Polymathic Storytelling

Tuesday, January 20, 2015
When: 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Harman Academy, DML 241
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 16:00

The Graphic Novel, also known as (but lately distinguished from) a comic book, has boomed and evolved as a storytelling format over the past decade. A truly polymathic form of storytelling, it combines images and the flash-point nature of the comic strip with the long-forms of literature and the novel. Recently, we have seen the graphic novel seep into popular culture and the public consciousness as inspiration for film adaptations and television series. However, graphic storytelling is nothing new – from the cave paintings at Lascaux to Satrapi’s Persepolis, the graphic format has been embraced to tell diverse stories throughout our history. Why has this art form soared in popularity lately? What is it about graphic storytelling that resonates across the centuries and taps into the modern psyche? And why is it worthy of our investigation? Join us as we explore these questions with experts on the art form, as well as scholars who use graphic novels for their own unique teaching purposes.

Panel Members:

Henry Jenkins, Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts, and Education

Clifford Johnson, Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Dana Johnson, Associate Professor of English

Reception to follow event at 5:30 pm

Henry Jenkins

As the Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts, and Education, Henry Jenkins is the very definition of a polymath. As one of the first media scholars to chart the changing role of the audience in an environment of increasingly pervasive digital content, Jenkins has been at the forefront of understanding the effects of participatory media on society, politics and culture. His research gives key insights to the success of social-networking websites, networked computer games, online fan communities and other advocacy organizations, and emerging news media outlets. His most recent book, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, is recognized as a hallmark of recent research on the subject of transmedia storytelling. His other published works reflect the wide range of his research interests, touching on democracy and new media, the “wow factor” of popular culture, science-fiction fan communities and the early history of film comedy.