Cynthia Laborde (Hamilton College)
Comics and graphic novels are becoming an increasingly popular research material for academics and many conferences now offer panels entirely dedicated to the study of this hybrid genre. Scholars have been successful in showing how comic books, no matter their length, provide insight about contemporary issues related to people of all ages, genders, races, and religions. However, it seems like they are still relatively rare in the curriculum as a "serious" genre. This panel explores how professors use comics and graphic novels from different French-speaking regions as literature in their classes to prompt critical thought and reflection. The intent is for this panel to be pedagogy focused. Participants will share examples, from course syllabi to specific activities. Through this variety of examples, we will show that comic books and graphic novels help students build complex reading skills while shedding light on important modern concerns. We will explain how incorporating comics not only increases students' proficiency but also benefits their higher-level thinking skills through a variety of exercises such as essays, class presentations, sketches, debates and even creative writing. The panel will focus on demonstrating that bandes dessinées are a modern support that can help students engage with literature and inspire students to develop skills at all levels.
This panel seeks innovative
perspectives on any aspect of teaching French language bandes dessinées as literature through specific example(s) to
prompt critical thought and reflection. 250-word abstracts in French or in English.