General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Comic Book Cultures
Language English
Module lecturer dr Tomasz Żaglewski
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position adiunkt
Faculty Faculty of Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Semester 2021/2022 (winter)
Duration 30


Module aim (aims)

The main goal of the course is to present the graphic narration of comic books in a broad perspective of cultural theory and cultural variety of topics. Students will be able to analyze some crucial cultural themes (i.e. feminism and gender, racism, political discourse and comics as a “private literature”) as well as the comic book medium itself in its complex social and economic context of production and reception. After classes student will be able not only to discover and discuss a specific critical topics on the basis of comics but also to reconsider a place of graphic narratives in the cultural studies paradigm.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

Basic knowledge about the history and theory of culture and comic books


1. Super-Heroes and Super-Readers: Comic Books as an Area for Cultural Studies
2. Designing “Death of Superman”: comic books as an industry
3. From Metropolis to Gotham City: role of city’s landscape in comics
4. The Seduction of the Innocent: Comics, superheroes and pornography
5. Feminism in Comics. Lois Lane, Wonder Woman and female audience
6. Marvel's heroes and representation of minorities in comics
7. Black Panthers and Afro-American culture in comics
8. Social Avengers? Superheroes in politics
9. Graphic propaganda and post-9/11 narration – many lives of Captain America
10. I believe in heroes! Comic books and/as religion
11. Transcultural / cross-cultural 'powers' of non-American comic book heroes
12. Comic books and adaptation: superheroes between media
13. Superheroes and/as clinical therapy

Reading list

1.Captain America and the Nationalist Superhero: Metaphors, Narratives and Geopolitics: Jason Dittmer
2.Comic Book Culture: Fanboys and True Believers: Matthew Pustz
3.Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America: Bradford W. Wright
4.Comics and the City: Urban Space in Print, Picture and Sequence: ed. by John Ahrens and Arno Meteling
5.Comics versus Art: Bart Beaty
6.Critical Approaches to Comics: Theories and Methods: ed. by Matthew J. Smith and Randy Duncan
7.Demanding Respect: The Evolution of American Comic Book: Paul Lopes
8.Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book: Gerard Jones
9.Multicultural Comics: From Zap to Blue Beetle: ed. by Frederick Luis Aldama
10.Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean: Douglas Wolk
11.Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes: Adilifu Nama
12.The Power of Comics: History, Form and Culture: Randy Duncan, Matthew J. Smith
13.Twelve-Cent Archie: Bart Beaty
14.War, Politics and Superheroes: Ethics and Propaganda in Comics and Film: Marc diPaolo