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X-Men Syllabus - Fall 2009

X-Men Syllabus - Fall 2009 - X-Men Icon of an Evolving...

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X-Men: Icon of an Evolving Political Culture (Fall 2009) X-Men, created in 1963 by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, is the most popular comic series in the Marvel Universe. The X-Men are fictitious mutants who, as a result of a sudden leap in evolution, are born with latent superhuman abilities. How and why did X- Men evolve into a series with some of the most relatable yet overtly political characters in comics? In what manner do the series’ writers tackle salient political issues through the decades, such as class conflict, genocide, segregation based on in-groups and out-groups, war, suppression of individual rights and liberties, religion, freedom, racial and sexual identity, etc.? How have changes in America’s ideological, scientific, economic, and moral domains affected the X-Men series? Is there some innate connection between X- Men and the human psyche that has allowed them to remain so endearing after so long in dozens of countries besides the United States? How exactly do the groups composed of anti-mutant individuals, the Morlocs, and the Shi’ar alien race contribute to the overarching themes of X-Men? These questions and many more will be answered as we explore X-Men The Decal. The class is not just about reading comic books, but rather about trying to understand political issues as portrayed in the X-Men. Political themes to be examined include: war, good and evil, religion, genocide, class conflict, freedom, and racial and sexual identity. Class meetings : : Days class will meet on Tuesdays and Thursday from 5 PM until 6 PM. Class will be held two times per week in 155 Barrows . Each session will be one hour long. Enrollment Instructions : Students have to show up on the first day of instruction to learn more about the course. We will take down names of people interested in registering and will send an additional e-mail out to all admitted students by the next morning. Class Description:
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In a given week, on each first day of a lecture we will have a discussion-style exploration of that a particular lecture topic. Students are expected to engage in a dialogue with one another and with the instructors by actively participating in class discussions and/or debates about issues related to the topic at hand. The goal of these discussions is to have students move past the popular culture significance of the X-Men and explore the deeper implications of the series in relation to American culture in particular and human relations in general. Then on the second day of lecture we will examine that aspect of the series in the context of an episode of television, a comic, or some other media in which X-Men are featured, that well illustrates the topic of the week. Evaluations: Just so students are aware, the reason why the course exists is to not only provide a space in which a popular culture topic will be discussed. The central message students are expected to gain an understanding of by the end of the course is how a medium that is usually dismissed by those in academia (i.e. comic books) actually reflects upon all of the
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X-Men Syllabus - Fall 2009 - X-Men Icon of an Evolving...

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