So far in class we’ve spent a good deal of time talking about collective versus individual voices, the difficulties inherent in witness and witnessing, and how one must often construct witness according to prevailing hegemonic norms in order to be understood. The final project for this courses consists of two parts, a comic-style rendering of a substantial section of one of the texts covered in class (no set page limit, but it MUST be substantial, I’d recommend 50-75 pages) and a critical reflection on the comic you produce. In meditating on collective versus individual voices, the first part of this assignment will be collaborative.
This assignment will require you to:
- synthesize course readings and discussions
- apply your thoughts and knowledge in creative ways
- meditate on the nature of what constitutes text and the possibilities inherent in different notions of textuality
- reflect on the difficulties of witness and witnessing we have discussed throughout the semester
- reflect on the difficulties of representing a collective experience through an individual text
For the comic I do not necessarily expect “great art,” but I do expect a thoughtful engagement with the text and the theoretical perspectives we have discussed. Consider carefully your medium, your text, and how you present these. Stick figures are fine, but stick figures hastily scribbled on notebook paper the night before this assignment is due are not. Pay attention to how you are narrating this text visually and linguistically. What new interpretations come into being via how you articulate the relationships between images and words? I will not assign a specific “page length,” but a single image with no narrative arc does not by definition fulfill the assignment.
For the critical reflection you are encouraged to do a bit a independent research (a minimum of three critical sources not read in class). What was your experience like? How is rethinking textuality challenging/liberating/frustrating? Why did you make the representational choices you made? How do these illuminate or obscure what is in the original text? How do these choices enhance the witness of the original text or further obscure it?
We’ll be reading and discussing this in a bit more detail over the coming weeks, but go ahead and start thinking about these issues!