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Hunting Through
Medieval Literature

Peter Pan

A Whisper and a Prayer

Christine de Pizan

The Maiden with a
Thousand Slippers

"If you steal from one author, it's plagiarism; if you steal from many, it's research." Wilson Mizner, 1876-1933, American Author
(Please use appropriate citations)

This essay appeared in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Journal, Spring, 2012 and is available through EBSCO databases, including Academic Search Premier.

Children's Medium and the New Literacy

by Doré Ripley, ©2012-2023

INTENSIVE WRITING, or what was once called remediation, is filled with college students who are uncomfortable with texts. They don't want to read them and they don't want to write them because they haven't been successful with the written word. When students arrive to class with a graphic novel in hand, they think, "This class is going to be easy." And that is my goal. If students believe intensive reading and writing is going to be fairly painless, they will relax long enough to think critically about what is going on in the comic panels. Instead of parroting back written text, they'll have to interpret the panels and add to the conversation already taking place within the pages of a graphic novel. But readers of comics must not only peruse speech bubbles, they must also decode images, creating a rich interpretative source in a textually deficient medium. Students must dig deep for responsive ideas and they must become comfortable interpreting the visual/textual blend presented on the comic's page, the twentieth century precursor of twenty-first century mediums where visuals are dominant, a medium that can be interpreted and analyzed like any other text.
           When beginners start perusing comics, they tend to skip the visuals and track text from speech bubble to thought bubble to narration box. This seems a logical sequence, since as Jacques Derrida points out; speech is privileged over the written word because of our presence in the conversation. But sometimes the written word is all that is left to a reader-we cannot talk to Shakespeare, Plato, or Castiglione. In comics, speech is cued using bubbles, so when we starting reading comics our western inclination towards speech turns towards our academic predisposition towards text and sets us on the track of the written word, especially the favored words of speech while ignoring the what's going on outside the bubble.
So how do visuals fit into this privileged sequence?

WANT TO READ MORE? Go to an EBSCO database such as Academic Search Premier for the full article.