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Kane, Brian M. "Adapting the Graphic Novel Format for Undergraduate-Level Textbooks." Diss. PhD. Ohio State University, 2013. 
Added by: joachim (11/1/13, 3:53 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (3/27/14, 11:13 AM)
Resource type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Kane2013
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Categories: General
Keywords: Didactics, Empirical research, Nonfiction
Creators: Kane
Publisher: Ohio State University (Columbus)
Views: 30/651
Attachments   URLs   https://www.dropbo ... 20Final%20copy.pdf
This dissertation explores ways in which the graphic narrative (graphic novel) format for storytelling, known as sequential art, can be adapted for undergraduate-level introductory textbooks across disciplines. Currently, very few graphic textbooks exist, and many of them lack the academic rigor needed to give them credibility. My goal in this dissertation is to examine critically both the strengths and weaknesses of this art form and formulate a set of standards and procedures necessary for developing new graphic textbooks that are scholastically viable for use in college-level instruction across disciplines. To the ends of establishing these standards, I have developed a four-pronged information-gathering approach. First I read as much pre factum qualitative and quantitative data from books, articles, and Internet sources as possible in order to establish my base of inquiry. Second, I created a twelve-part dissertation blog ( where I was able to post my findings and establish my integrity for my research among potential interviewees. Third, I interviewed 16 professional graphic novel/graphic textbook publishers, editors, writers, artists, and scholars as well as college professors and librarians. Finally, I sent out an online survey consisting of a sample chapter of an existing graphic textbook to college professors and asked if the content of the source material was potentially effective for their own instruction in undergraduate teaching. For me, the interviews were the most enjoyable part of this process and yielded significant, actionable information from which I could draw practical conclusions. The results of the dissertation blog exceeded expectations in that the readership extended further than anticipated. Through the use of statistical analysis tools within Blogspot, I discovered the Graphic Textbooks blog has been viewed over 3,000 times to date since it first appeared on September 4, 2012. While 68% of these page views originated from the United States, it has also been accessed from 61 other countries, of which Germany and Russia comprise the largest readership (See Appendix C: Dissertation Blog Page Views by Country).
Adapting undergraduate-level introductory textbooks in all disciplines has tremendous educational implications as we enter the digital eTextbook age. When placed on a digital platform, graphic narratives can not only simulate a classroom environment, but, because they are self-paced and utilize characters that engage the reader, can also replicate a one-on-one student/tutor dynamic as well. These understandings have implications for both introductory-level learning within a college or university setting and for distance learning where personable interaction is either limited or non-existent. Through my involvement in this research project, I have concluded that the true power of graphic narratives, of these unique multi-sensory scaffolding tools lies in their ability to help instructors motivate and educate their students. In terms of their positionality within art education, graphic narratives are malleable constructs that speak to many aspects of our discipline such as: visual culture, social media, narratology, visual learning, literacy development, design thinking, and the development of imaginative problem-solving skills. Graphic narratives can be as intimate as a memoir of a teenage girl living in Tehran (Persepolis); as inspiring as a biography of a boy growing up in poverty to become a sports star (21: The Story of Roberto Clemente); or as educational as a textbook (The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume One: Microeconomics). Graphic narratives are a verbal/visual medium whose only limitations lie in the imaginations, creativity, and skill of their creators, and likewise in the willingness of the viewers/readers to actively engage in interpreting and making meaning from this iconographic art form.

Table of Contents

Abstract (ii)
Dedication (v)
Acknowledgements (vi)
Vita (x)
List of Figures (xx)
Prologue (xxi)
Preface (xxiv)
– My Positionality With the Material (xxiv)
Definitions of Terms Used in This Dissertation (xxvi)
– Glossary of Additional Terms (xxvii)
– Components of Educational Graphic Narratives (xxvii)

1. Introduction (1)
Overarching Research Question (1)
Purpose Statement (1)
Research Questions / Embedded Research Questions (2)
Statement of the Problem (2)
Significance of the Study (4)
Reasoning for the Study (5)
Scope and Limitations (8)
– Secondary Source Material (Literary Graphic Narratives) (8)
–  Exclusions (9)
This Dissertation’s Relation to the Field of Art Education (9)

2. Background to the Study (11)
Introduction (11)
The Origin of the Term and the First Modern Day Graphic Novel (12)
– Educational Graphic Novels and the Beginnings of Graphic Textbooks (19)
– Educational Graphic Textbooks for Undergraduates (24)
Manga as Textbooks (25)
– Charles Wirgman, and How Manga Evolved in Japan (28)
– Subversive Imagery and the “Liberty of the Crayon” (29)
– Charles Wirgman and The Japan Punch (33)
– The Exporting and Importing of Visual Culture (35)
Graphic eTextbooks and the “Infinite Canvas” (36)
The Origins of Prejudice Towards Illustration (41)
– The Commodification of Poetry (41)
– Verbal vs. Visual: “The Frivolity of the Times” (45)
– It is Nothing More than Masculine vs. Feminine (48)
– The Foundations of American Illustration (50)
– Illustration and the Prejudice of Modernism (51)
– Fear Mongering in the 1950s (53)
– Will Eisner’s Artistic Family Tree (55)
In Summation (56)

3. Constructing the Study (59)
Historical Research and Grounded Theory (59)
Mixed Methods (Multimethodology) Approach for Research (60)
– Determine the Goal of the Study (61)
– Formulate the Research Objective(s) (61)
– Determine the Research/Mixing Rationale(s) (61)
– Determine the Research/Mixing Purpose(s) (62)
– Determine the Research Question(s) (64)
– Select the Sample Design (65)
– Concurrent Triangulation Design (65)
Research Methods for Data Collection (66)
– Graphic Narrative Inquiry (66)
– Disassembling Graphic Narratives (68)
– Working Theories: How We Derive Meaning From Graphic Narratives (71)
— Gestalt Psychology (71)
— Cognitive Psychology and Dual Coding Theory (72)
— Neuroscience (74)
— Putting it All Together (76)
– The Potential for Graphic Narratology in Pedagogy (76)
– Structured Interviews (79)
– Unstructured Interviews (79)
– Pre Factum Data (80)
– Graphic Textbook Dissertation Blog (82)
– Quantitative Survey (84)
Methods of Analysis (85)
– Document Analysis (85)
– Graphic Narrative Analysis (85)
– Discourse Analysis (86)
In Summation (86)

4. Presentation and Analysis of the Data (88)
Pre Factum Data (88)
– Qualitative Data (88)
– Quantitative Data (89)
— Behind the Curve: European Comics in the Classroom (89)
— The Short, Randolph-Seng, McKenny Study (92)
Graphic Textbook Dissertation Blog (94)
Quantitative Survey (97)
Interviews (98)
– Strengths of the Graphic Narrative Art Form (99)
– Weaknesses of the Graphic Narrative Art Form (101)
– Adaptability of the Graphic Narrative Art Form (103)
– Recommendations to Academicians (104)
– The Co-Authorship Model (107)
– The Potential for Graphic Narratives in Education (109)
– Graphic Narratives as a Scaffolding Tool (109)
– Problem Based Learning (111)
– Developing Digital Educational Graphic Narratives (112)
— Aspect Ratios (112)
— Page Design (113)
— Native vs. Non-native Sequential Art Readers (115)
— The Need for Coloring Graphic eTextbooks (116)
— A Word About Digital Art (116)
— The Dark Side of Digital (117)
— The Right to Be Forgotten (117)
— The Cloud (118)
— “Dark Editing” (120)
— Digital Natives and the Gatekeepers (121)
Upon Reflection (122)
– Past is Prologue: Learning From Graphic Novels (122)
– Creating Graphic eTextbooks (124)
– What About the Alphabet Soup? (125)

5. Summary, Conclusions, and Implications for Future Research (127)
The Next Wave in Graphic Narratives (Graphic Narrative) (130)

Endnotes (142)

References (145)
A: Graphic Narrative Historiography (145)
B: How to Write and Illustrate Graphic Narratives (154)
C: Graphic Narratives and Illustrated Books Selected for Analysis (157)
D: Philosophy, Methodology, Historiography, and Pedagogy (160)

Appendix A: Structured Interview Script (178)
Appendix B: Consent Forms (182)
Appendix C: Dissertation Blog Page Views by Country (184)
Appendix D: Online Survey (185)
Appendix E: Sample Economics Graphic Textbook Chapter (186)
Appendix F: IRB Protocol: Form of Exemption (200)

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