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2009/10 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL3262 AutobioGraphics

20 creditsClass Size: 20


Module manager: Dr Helen Iball

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2009/10

Pre-requisite qualifications

Grade B at 'A' Level in English Language or Literature or Theatre Studies or Psychology (or equivalent).

Please note: This module is restricted to Levels 2 and 3 students.

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

How and why are the principles of comic strips and cartoons effective for exploring the cultural politics of identity? This module considers interfaces between the verbal and visual expression in autobiographical art forms. These include graphic memoirs, animated documentary film, confessional drawing, and live art performance. The selected texts include: Ari Folman's documentary-animation Waltz with Bashir (2008); Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir Fun Home: a family tragicomic (2006); Art Spiegelman's Maus (Vol. I, 1986. Vol. II, 1992); Bobby Baker's recent performance How to Live (first performed 2004), along with her Diary Drawings (1997-2004); Charlotte Salomon's Leben? Oder Theater? (Life? Or Theatre? 1941-2); Maira Kalman's The Principles of Uncertainty (2007), along with selected artworks by Tracey Emin, to explore the impact and functions of journaling.


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
Demonstrate a critical understanding of the graphic memoir and related autobiographical strategies in live art, film and theatre.
Demonstrate a critical understanding of the ways in which the selected texts respond to and comment upon particular social and political circumstances;
Explore in seminars and in writing (and, optionally, through creative portfolio practice) the particular efficacy of interfaces between verbal and visual communication.

Learning outcomes
Students will have developed:
the ability to use written and oral communication effectively;
the capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse;
the ability to manage quantities of complex information in a structured and systematic way;
the capacity for independent thought and judgement;
critical reasoning;
research skills, including the retrieval of information, the organisation of material and the evaluation of its importance;
IT skills;
Efficient time management and organisation skills;
the ability to learn independently.

Skills outcomes
Skills for effective communication, oral and written.
Capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse.
Ability to acquire quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.
Capacity for independent thought and judgement.
Critical reasoning.
Research skills, including information retrieval skills, the organisation of material, and the evaluation of its importance.
IT skills.
Time management and organisational skills.
Independent learning.


This module explores autobiographical forms that use drawing/sculpture in combination with caption/script. The texts selected include graphic memoir, animated documentary film, confessional drawing and live art performance. The module considers how the interface between the verbal and visual has the potential to represent socio-cultural impositions upon the individual, and to express passing time, memory, the spoken and unspoken. It approaches the selected texts in terms of agency and intimacy, discussing therapeutic affect alongside its investigation of identity, politics and performativity.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Film Screenings22.002.00
Private study hours185.00
Total Contact hours13.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)198.00

Private study

Reading, seminar preparation and essay writing

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contribution to seminars and workshops.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,250 words50.00
EssayEITHER a second essay of 2,250 words OR a creative portfolio in paper or digital form50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/01/2011


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