Now Is The Time To Take A Free Online Course About Comics With Christina Blanch

comics-christina-blanch-2-300x206Christina Blanch, the organizer of the massively successful free open-access online comics course "Super MOOC": "Gender Through Comic Books", will be running a second course from March 10th to August 19th 2014 and registration is currently open. This course will be entitled "Social Issues Through Comic Books". The first MOOC Blanch ran engaged over 7000 participants, and generated a real groundswell of positive energy about the role of critical thinking when it comes to appreciating comics and being able to explain their significance as an influential art form to society at large.

These courses are serious, but they are also accessible and moderate rather than heavy in course load. You will be expected to watch video lectures, participate in online forums, and the contents of the course are not appropriate for kids under 18.

But what exactly is the course going to cover and what issues will it tackle through the comics medium? Here's the course description:

Are you a life long learner? Do you like comic books? Do you think it would be interesting to discuss social issues using comic books as a lens? Are you an educator looking for different methods to present your material? If so, this course is for you! From the creator of Gender Through Comic Books (aka the SuperMOOC), this six month course will examine current social issues through comic books while understanding how popular culture is shaped by it's surroundings.

We will read a variety of comic books including Scalped, Daredevil, Swamp Thing, and many more. While reading these books we will examine topics such as social inequality, the environment, government intervention, addiction, and information privacy. Using lectures, live interviews with academics and comic book professionals, discussion boards, and readings, we will learn about social issues and how they are presented in comic books and the impact that those books have had on the issues whether large or small scale. This will be more than a class – it's a formation of a community.

In many ways, it looks like this course will be even more expansive in topic than the gender in comics focus previously, and this is definitely a subject that deserves more critical attention when it comes to assessing the impact comics make on society and the statements they overtly or inadvertently contain. So what's holding you back? If you can commit to being part of a community for 6 months, you can be part of a learning experience, and one that might generate new and very useful perspectives on comics and society. You can register here.

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Hannah Means ShannonAbout Hannah Means Shannon

Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Independent comics scholar and former English Professor. Writing books on magic in the works of Alan Moore and the early works of Neil Gaiman.
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