Journalistic and Documentary Comics
SummaryStudents on this course learn how to plan, prepare, and execute journalistic and documentary comics of their own; also they learn how to interpret and assess comics in these genres. To be able to do this, the course introduces principles of journalism and documentation and reflects on practical, ethical, and cultural implications of comics journalism. Everybody on the course will produce documentary and journalistic comics after introductory and specialist workshops. The course aims to provide and develop methods for analysis of individual comics and comics-corpora as a source for academic research. The course will be taught in English.
Experience in drawing, journalism, storytelling etc. is not necessary, but an advantage. The course is intended for students who want to communicate in sequential images and texts. It is our belief that everybody can learn to do this. To be able to participate and benefit from the course, some existing experience in academic studies is required (30 HP in an unspecified subject).
30 university credits.
credits 32% final grades 34% national university aptitude test 34%
Syllabus for students spring 2021, spring 2020
- Course Code:
- KK166A revision 2
- Swedish name:
- Journalistiska och dokumentära serier
- Level of specialisation
- Main fields of study:
- No main fields
- Date of ratification:
- 04 December 2018
- Decision-making body:
- Faculty of Culture and Society
- Enforcement date:
- 21 January 2019
- Replaces Syllabus ratified:
- 04 December 2018
30 university credits.
Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations
The course can normally be included as a part of a general degree at basic level.
The course introduces students to the quickly developing field of journalistic and documentary comics in theory and practice. The course aims to enable participants to analyse and discuss comics by others and to produce comics that communicate according to the criteria of the genre.
The course introduces to the theory and practice of comics analysis and comics production. These are applied and developed further with a focus on comics for documentation and journalism.
The course is divided into three parts:
1. Introduction to visual narrative structure, and to the basics of comics journalism / documentary comics. (8 hp)
2. Comics cultures and their implications for comics journalism / documentary. Continuation on comics journalism / documentary. (8 hp)
3. Individual documentary / journalistic project that must contain pictorial sequential storytelling (topic chosen in dialogue with supervisor) (8 hp) and written report, connecting the project to comics theory and cultural theory. (6 hp)
After finishing the course students should be able to:
• Describe and reflect on documentary and journalistic genres in general and in comics (1)
• Describe and reflect on cultural frameworks and emerging trends in comics journalism and documentary comics (2)
• Place comics in relation to other forms of visual narration (3)
• Describe and discuss the production of a comic, from idea and concept through to published product (4)
• Develop and produce (script and/or draw, text/illustrate) at least one visual narrative that is usable as journalistic / documentary comic (5)
• Critically assess and analyse their own and others' work orally and in writing (6)
The course depends on the students' activity and learning. Teaching forms used during the course are lectures, seminars, workshops, possible study visits, group work and individual projects under supervision.
Learning outcomes are assessed as follows:
In part 1, learning objectives 1 and 3 are graded by assessment of work results of comics and drawing exercises (4 HP) and written reflections (4 HP).
In part 2, learning objectives 2 and 4 are graded on the production of drawings and comics (2 HP), a written assignment (academic paper 4 HP), and active participation in text-seminars (2 HP).
In part 3 the learning objectives 4, 5 through execution and presentation (even in exhibition-context) of individual artistic project (work in progress as well as finished project) (8 HP)
All learning objectives through written critical reflection on project development with option for theoretising specific comics-journalistic or documentary comics issues (6 HP).
Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).
Course literature and other teaching materials
- Bonner, Frances (2013): "Recording Reality: Documentary Film and Television" in Stuart Hall et al. (eds.): Representation. 2013; 60-119.
- Lefèvre, Pascal: “The Modes of Documentary Comics” in: Dietrich Grünewald (Hg.): Der dokumentarische Comic Reportage und Biographie. Berlin: Ch. A. Bachmann, 2013; 50-60.
- Ashkenazi, Ofer & Dittmar, Jakob: "Negotiating Documentation in Comics" in: International Journal of Comic Art, Vol. 20:1, Spring/Summer 2018; 587-597.
Up to 1000 pages of short texts, book chapters, comics and other graphic visual material can be added, and will be supplied via the course's Canvas-page or the university library.
Also up to 300 pages of webcomics can be added.
The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).
If a course is no longer offered or has undergone major changes, students will be offered two re-take sessions based on the syllabus in force at registration during a period of one year from the date of the implementation of the changes.
Language of Instruction is English