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ASLA Graphic Novel webinar April 2018

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Biography: Dr Catherine Sly has taught in NSW Department of Education high schools and has been a writer, editor and consultant for the School Libraries division of the NSW Department of Education. Her recent PhD thesis investigated graphic novels from a narratological perspective.

Abstract: Quality graphic novels can be as challenging and complex as written texts. While the predominantly visual format of graphic novels may readily capture students’ attention, guidance from teacher librarians and teachers can be invaluable in cultivating and refining the skills necessary to probe the depth and richness of these publications.

Attendees will learn how to guide students to discover this richness as well as how to identify specific techniques used by the creators of graphic novels. A close investigation of two selected graphic novels will operate as examples to provide the necessary signposts for teachers to become more confident in the reading, processing, critical analysis and evaluation of graphic novels.

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ASLA Graphic Novel webinar April 2018

  1. 1. INVESTIGATING GRAPHIC NOVELS P r e s e n t e d b y D r C a t h y S l y Australian School Library Association Inc.
  2. 2. Housekeeping Australian School Library Association Inc. 2 Housekeeping: ASLA PL Team members facilitating for this webinar: Kate Reid, Margo Pickworth, Sophie Partington  Participation options  Attendee control panel  Question facility Type your questions here
  3. 3. Presenter Australian School Library Association Inc. By way of an introduction, I am an independent researcher with a keen interest in visual literacy, graphic novels and multimodal storytelling. In the past I taught English, Drama and History in NSW high schools. I have also worked as a writer, editor and consultant for the School Libraries division of the NSW Department of Education. In 2016 I completed a PhD on Australian graphic novels and have presented papers at national and international conferences. Most recent publications on graphic novels include ‘Empowering 21st century readers: Integrating graphic novels into primary classrooms’ in Picture Books and Beyond (2014) edited by Kerry Mallan and ‘Crossing Cultural Boundaries with Graphic Novels’ published in Scan 36.4 (2017). Cathy Sly 3
  4. 4. Australian School Library Association Inc. 4
  5. 5. Australian School Library Association Inc. 5 Captain Congo and the Maharaja’s Monkey by Ruth Starke and Greg Holfeld Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
  6. 6. Australian School Library Association Inc. 6 From: Picture Books and Beyond edited by K. Mallan, PETAA, NSW, 2014 Balloonics
  7. 7. Australian School Library Association Inc. 7 More complex facets colour lighting style transitions point of view expressions gestures comics runes symbolism font imagery metaphor Fundamental elements page panels gutters images balloons written text Making meaning plot & themes setting & atmosphere discourses emotional impact diegetic sounds vocal nuances
  8. 8. Australian School Library Association Inc. 8 Baetens, J. & Frey, H. 2015, The Graphic Novel: An Introduc on Cohn, N. Visual Language Lab - website Eisner, W. [1996] 2008, Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narra ve Hart, M. 2010, Using Graphic Novels in the Classroom Grd 4-8 Kukkonen, K. 2013, Studying Comics and Graphic Novels McCloud, S. 1993, Understanding Comics Monnin, K. 2010, Teaching Graphic Novels: Prac cal Strategies for the Secondary ELA Classroom Rudd, D. 2010, The Routledge Companion to Children’s Literature Sly, C. 2014, ‘Empowering 21st Century Readers: Integra ng Graphic Novels into Primary Classrooms’ in K. Mallan (ed.) Picture Books and Beyond
  9. 9. Australian School Library Association Inc. 9
  10. 10. Australian School Library Association Inc. 10 Literary aspects Characterisation Code and convention Connotation, imagery & symbol Genre Irony and satire Narrative Representation Setting Style Theme General capabilities Literacy Critical and creative thinking Ethical understanding Intercultural understanding Geography Place Environment Interconnection
  11. 11. Australian School Library Association Inc. 11
  12. 12. Australian School Library Association Inc. 12 from Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
  13. 13. Australian School Library Association Inc. 13 Note how the different placement, gestures and expressions of Captain Congo and Pug convey clues that enable readers to make meaning about the nature of these characters.
  14. 14. Australian School Library Association Inc. 14
  15. 15. Australian School Library Association Inc. 15
  16. 16. Australian School Library Association Inc. 16 Images Panel 1: indexical images – there is part of a large locomotive, a whistle emitting lines that suggest sound, and steam. It suggests that a steam train is setting off on a journey. Panel 2: the setting of the interior of the train carriage in which Congo and Pug are travelling. Panels 3 and 4: an external view of the train as a mid and then distant shot as it travels through the Indian countryside. Verbal components The verbal components are minimal and involve Congo noting the punctuality of the train’s departure and the time it will take to reach Bekar. Pug is more concerned about keeping cool on the long journey. Layout Four horizontal panels. Panel 2: larger. It contains the two main characters and their dialogue. Horizontal panels suggest a longer period of time passing, as is appropriate for the long train journey. Colour The dominant colour scheme is warm and earthy. It depicts the hot climate of India. Note the shift from the cooler blue & white of the first panel to heat created by the yellow and orange in panel 4. Perspective / point of view The reader is positioned outside the scene as an observer and is thus able to see what is going on inside a carriage as well as observing the train across the fields from an external view.
  17. 17. Australian School Library Association Inc. 17
  18. 18. Australian School Library Association Inc. 18 In the centre panel Pug has circular flourishes around his head and his beak is seen in two different positions. What does this signify? What might Pug’s fan signify? What could the colour of each of the women’s saris represent?
  19. 19. Australian School Library Association Inc. 19
  20. 20. Australian School Library Association Inc. 20 Literary aspects Characterisation Code and convention Connotation, imagery & symbol Narrative Representation Setting Style Theme Visual literacy General capabilities Literacy Critical and creative thinking Personal and social capability Ethical understanding Health and Physical Education Communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing
  21. 21. Australian School Library Association Inc. 21 Silent graphic narratives engage readers in: • exercising and extending their understanding of the iconicity and symbolism of images • cultivating inferential and imaginative engagement with visual narration • developing an intuitive understanding of others’ mental states through investing in what happens to the silent characters. ‘Wordless picture stories have a unique and especially intimate relationship to their reader…’ Christopher Kupers
  22. 22. Australian School Library Association Inc. 22 ‘… emo onally produced gestures and expressive postures are accumulated and stored in the memory, forming a non-verbal vocabulary of gesture.’ Will Eisner (1985)
  23. 23. Australian School Library Association Inc. 23 ‘… the art of the comic book can freeze … expressions in close-up frames that arrest me and enhance recogni on of the subject’s feelings.’ Suzanne Keen (2011)
  24. 24. Australian School Library Association Inc. 24
  25. 25. Australian School Library Association Inc. 25 ‘Our tendency to recognise character and emo on even in the simplest of lines, speaks in many …silent comics.’ Barbara Postema (2014)
  26. 26. Australian School Library Association Inc. 26
  27. 27. Australian School Library Association Inc. 27
  28. 28. Australian School Library Association Inc. 28 Comics ‘have the power to fly under the critical radar and dive right into the brain’. Art Spiegelman (2003)
  29. 29. Australian School Library Association Inc. 29 ‘In comics word and image approach each other: words can be visually inflected, reading as pictures, while pictures can become as abstract and symbolic as words …’ Charles Hatfield, 2005
  30. 30. Australian School Library Association Inc. 30 ‘Literacy education is changing rapidly; we need to expand our own knowledge base and skill set if we are to remain viable facilitators of our students’ literacy development.’ (Frank Serafini, 2014)
  31. 31. Australian School Library Association Inc. 31 Baetens, J. & Frey, H. 2015, The Graphic Novel: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, New York. Beronä, D.A. 2008, Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels, Abrams, New York. Cohn, N. Visual Language Lab – viewed 11 February, 2018, http:www.visuallanguagelab.com DeMello, M. 2012, 'Introduction', in M DeMello (ed.), Speaking For Animals: Animal Autobiographical Writing, Routledge, New York. Eisner, W. [1996] 2008, Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative, W. W. Norton & Company, New York.
  32. 32. Australian School Library Association Inc. 32 Frey, N. 2010, ‘Reading and Writing with Graphic Novels’, California Reader, vol. 44 issue 1, pp.15-22. Grice, K.M. 2015, 'Do Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?' Red Feather Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 75-91, http:www.redfeatherjournal.orghome.html Hart, M. 2010, Using Graphic Novels in the Classroom Grd 4-8, Teacher Created Resources Inc., USA. Hatfield, C. 2005, Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature, 1st edn, University Press of Mississippi, Jackson.
  33. 33. Australian School Library Association Inc. 33 Keen, S 2011, 'Fast Tracks to Narrative Empathy: Anthropomorphism and Dehumanization in Graphic Narratives', SubStance, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 135-55. Kukkonen, K. 2013, Studying Comics and Graphic Novels, Wiley- Blackwell, West Sussex. McCloud, S. 1993, Understanding Comics, Kitchen Sink Press, Northampton, MA. McTaggart, J. (2008), ‘Graphic novels. The good, the bad and the ugly’, in Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher (eds), Teaching Visual Literacy Using Comic Books, Graphic Novels, Anime, Cartoons, and More to Develop Comprehension and Thinking Skills, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, pp. 27–46.
  34. 34. Australian School Library Association Inc. 34 Monnin, K. 2010, Teaching Graphic Novels: Practical Strategies for the Secondary ELA Classroom, Maupin House Publishing, Florida, USA. Postema, B. 2014, 'Following the Pictures: Wordless Comics for Children', Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 311-22. Rudd, D. 2010, The Routledge Companion to Children’s Literature, Routledge, New York. Serafini, F. 2012, Reading Multimodal Texts in the 21st Century, Research in the Schools, Mid-South Educational Research Association 2012, Vol. 19, No. 1, 26-32 Sly, C. 2014, ‘Empowering 21st Century Readers: Integrating Graphic Novels into Primary Classrooms’ in K. Mallan (ed.) Picture Books and Beyond, PETAA, NSW.
  35. 35. Australian School Library Association Inc. 35 Starke, R. & Holfeld, G. 2008, Captain Congo and the Crocodile King, Working Title Press, South Australia. Starke, R. & Holfeld, G. 2009, Captain Congo and the Maharaja's monkey, 1st edn, Working Title Press, South Australia. Starke, R. & Holfeld, G. 2011, Captain Congo and the Klondike Gold, Working Title Press, South Australia. Varon, S. 2007, Robot Dreams, First Second, New York. Spiegelman, A. cited in Wright, S.H. 2003 Spiegelman's Art is Dark and Demanding, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, viewed 11 February 2018, http:newsoffice.mit.edu2003spiegelmans-art-dark-and- demanding
  36. 36. Australian School Library Association Inc. 36
  37. 37. Additional information Australian School Library Association Inc. The PowerPoint presentation will be available at http://www.slideshare.net/ASLAonline Membership information is available at http://www.asla.org.au/membership.aspx Follow ASLA on Twitter https://twitter.com/aslanational Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ASLAOnline 37
  38. 38. Post-webinar information Australian School Library Association Inc. Certificate of attendance will be emailed Membership information is available at http://www.asla.org.au/membership.aspx Future Webinars http://www.asla.org.au/Professional-learning/webinars.aspx Follow ASLA on Twitter https://twitter.com/aslanational Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ASLAOnline 38

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