Bande Dessinée

Module code: FR2044

Comics and bande dessinée are an important and popular form of cultural expression, which tends to be a favourite with children and adults alike. Now often referred to as le neuvième art (Ninth Art), the medium has also received increasing cultural and academic attention and recognition. The module’s main focus will be on la bande dessinée franco-belge, generally considered to be the “cradle” of this enduring popular and artistic medium. We will look at its historical and cross-cultural development and at a diverse range of contemporary case studies. Students will engage with key analytical concepts and will develop their knowledge and understanding of the medium’s specificity and of issues of ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture.

Topics covered

  • History and development of bande dessinée
  • Cultural status of bande dessinée
  • Bande dessinée in Belgium, France and beyond
  • Links with the graphic novel, comics, manga and cartooning
  • Concepts for studying bande dessinée
  • Traditional and innovative genres in bande dessinée
  • Gendered representations in bande dessinée

Learning

  • 10 hours of lectures
  • 10 hours of seminars
  • 130 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Essay, 1,800 words (60%)
  • Written sequence analysis, 700 words (40%)