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Comic Connections


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Table of Contents

Preface: Becoming a Teacher Acknowledgements Introduction: Building Character and Theme, Sandra Eckard 1: Tales and Dreams: Neil Gaiman's The Sandman and Critical and Creative Thinking in the English Classroom, Carmela Delia Lanza 2: Marvelous Families, Epic Dysfunction: Combining Norse Mythology, the Thor Comics, and Marvel Films in a General Education Literature Course, Holly M. Wells 3: Flip the Hero Script: Kamala Khan and Katniss Everdeen Search for Agency, Purpose, and Identity, Mary T. Christel 4: Marvel's Civil War: Interrogating Vigilantism and the Superhero Myth in the Post-9/11 Era, Jane Coulter and Keith McCleary 5: From Marvel's Daredevil to Netflix's Defenders: Justice Is Blind?, P.L. Thomas 6: Comics and Philosophy: Batman and the Nature of Evil, Jon Ostenson 7: Discovering and Discussing Tall Tale Elements Through Lemke's Tall Great American Folktales: The Comic Anthology, Jennifer Toney 8: Finding the Panther: Marvel Comics' Black Panther Socio-Historical Roots and Their Influences on Character Development, Scott Honeycutt, Karin Keith, Renee Rice-Moran, LaShay Jennings, Huili Hong 9: 21st Century Creature: Analyzing Frankenstein in the Medium of Comic, Jeffrey Hayes 10: Word from Krypton: Analyzing the Character of Superman, Richard Harrison About the Authors

About the Author

Sandra Eckard is a professor of English at East Stroudsburg University, where she teaches writing, works with English Education students, and directs the Writing Studio, a space to help student writers. She specializes in teaching writing, tutoring writing, and using popular culture in the classroom.


Building on the interpretative power of a dynamic group of teacher-scholars, Comic Connections provides a blueprint for engaging students in the classroom that contemporary educators need. Combining recent scholarship on teaching and learning with a careful examination of our every changing popular culture landscape allows this volume to be a resource that empowers educators. Each chapter provides a wealth of information on how teachers can leverage comics to explore a diverse set of educational concerns. Engaging comic book character on the page and screen and using a variety of theoretical tools, the authors in the volume recognizes how popular culture reflects the human experience. From family and relationships to civil liberties and the meaning of freedom, this volume offers up myriad ways for teachers to bridge the gap between our comic infused culture and the classroom. -- Julian C. Chambliss, Department of English, Michigan State University
This fantastic group of knowledgeable instructors, literacy specialists, and fans delivers a rich trove of practical ideas for teaching with and about comics. Each essay shows how integrating comics into the curriculum can improve learning outcomes with specific techniques for addressing writing and critical thinking skills. Teens and young adults will appreciate the provocative issues raised by the authors about contemporary comic books as well, from existential debates about human nature to political discussions about civil liberties. This book has dozens of potential conversation starters to get students engaged and to keep them testing their assumptions with more rigorous analysis. -- Elizabeth Losh, PhD , director, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies; associate professor, American Studies and English, William & Mary College; Co-author, "Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing"
In the third volume of her Comic Connections series, Dr. Eckard shares views from likeminded educators who are finding new ways to transform their classroom instruction and students' experiences by incorporating graphic novels into the curriculum. Building Character and Theme makes a compelling case that the high interest nature of graphic novels could assist English teachers working to preserve the contemplation of the human experience as the core of their classroom studies. By suggesting that graphic novels can satisfy not only the need to reel in reluctant readers but also contend with canonized authors and titles as required student reading, this volume works to position the graphic novel genre on equal terrain as the traditional novel. As a teacher who has been looking for opportunities to integrate graphic novels into more my courses, I find this volume, providing both philosophy and practical strategies, offers the call to action I had been looking for. -- T. Andy Wicklund, English Teacher, Greenhills School, Ann Arbor, MI
Dr. Sandra Eckard has assembled a team of educational superheroes to guide teachers through the processes and possibilities that occur when you make comics an integral part of your curriculum. Each chapter takes you on an adventurous path to integrate unique themes and characters into your classroom that are as lively as the students you teach! Grab your cape and mask, because this book will take your teaching to higher ground! -- Ryan R. Goble, EdD, Teaching and Learning Coordinator at Glenbard Township High School District 87, Co-author, "Making Curriculum Pop: Developing Literacies in All Content Areas"

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