Friday, February 22, 2013

Back to School: "Gender Through Comic Books" at Ball State University

A few days ago, comic writer Mark Waid posted an entry to his blog about a Ball State University course that combines comics with higher eduction (two things I'm interested in) in the form of a new, massive open online course (abbreviated as MOOC, which sounds too much like "mook" for me) titled "Gender Through Comic Books".  This course, which runs from April 2 through May 10, 2013, will be taught online and features open registration - with no enrollment cost.

This already is a pretty tempting offer, but it turns out that Waid and a number of other comic book creators will be involved, through interviews, in this course as well.  Waid mentions the likes of Brian Michael Bendis, Terry Moore, Brian K. Vaughn, Jonathan Hickman, Scott Snyder as well as others.

Here's the official solicitation info from the Ball State course page:

Gender Through Comics: A Super MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) coming Spring 2013 that examines how comic books can be used to explore questions of gender identity, stereotypes, and roles. This highly engaging learning experience is designed for college-age and lifelong learners.
The course, led by Christina Blanch of Ball State University, uses a study of comic books incorporating highly interactive video lectures, online discussions between students, and real-time socially driven interviews. Interviews with the comic industry's biggest names such as Terry Moore, Brian K Vaughan, Mark Waid, as well as others address questions of gender representations and constructions involving both men and women.

Aaaand I'm sold.  I signed up for the course and will be taking it along with, apparently, over a thousand other people.  I'm not sure what the course will involve as far as texts, schedules or grading, but I'm excited to see what it's going to offer.  I've even got a student page at Ball State's webpage!

It's a bit sparse right now.  But I'll personalize it soon and add a link for, I don't know, Franks and Beans or something.

This is an exciting opportunity for anyone who enjoys comics, women's studies or new educational advancements.  The course is taught by Christina Blanch as part, it looks like, of a doctoral program at Ball State, so hopefully this thing gets her a PhD in something or other.  I'll post updates on the blog as the class meets - or, if you'd like, you can take the class with me and hundreds of other friends.  Just go to and sign up!  It's quick and easy, and it should be an interesting experience.  Kudos to Blanch and Ball State for coordinating this course and offering it to the general public.

Oh, and they got Stan Lee to narrate their YouTube ad.

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