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Dr. Christopher Kilgore

Department of English
College of Liberal Arts

UT Arlington Faculty

Dr. Kilgore received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, an MFA in creative writing from Saint Mary’s College of California, and a BA in English from Whitman College.  He began teaching at the University of Texas at Arlington in 2011, and currently serves as a lecturer in the English Department, and as Writing Resource Coordinator for the School of Social Work.

Service Learning Class

ENGL 2303 – Topics in Literature:  Graphic Narrative as Trans-Cultural Documentary.  3 hours credit.

When Art Spiegelman published Maus in 1986, he stirred an old controversy over the “appropriateness” of graphical style to subject matter.  Could drawings featuring anthropomorphic mice, cats, and other animals convey the horror of the Holocaust?  Today the consensus is that Spiegelman’s cartoon-style drawings, embedded in a father-and-son family drama, can do just that.  In this course we will examine graphic-novel narratives that present themselves as accounts of cultural, national, and historical identities, often through memoir or a “documentary” style.  These stories raise ethical and aesthetic questions:  As students in a US-American university in 2012, to what extent can we say we have learned from such texts?  How can we decide whether a portrayal is “accurate,” or at least “adequate”?

Academic Outcomes

By the end of the term, students should be able to:

…identify the unique properties and capabilities of the graphic novel medium.

…analyze how graphic novels (and other visual media) use elements of visual and verbal style to communicate ideas and evoke emotions.

…compare different styles and approaches to the graphic novel medium, as well as differences in subject matter and genre.

…evaluate the communicative and emotional impact of different styles and approaches.

…express discoveries about all of the above in clear, logical, concise, and organized essays and oral presentations.

…find new insights into narratives, graphic novels, documentaries, and memoirs, at UTA and beyond!

Service Learning Project

Educational Presentation Project 


Students will prepare entertaining and educational presentations for area youth in after-school programs in the Arlington Independent School District.  These presentations will include basic information about an element of graphical style, and its use to communicate trans-cultural encounters.  Course students will then guide the younger students in creating images or stories that express their own backgrounds or interests.  Within this general format, however, it is expected that course students will work with AISD staff in determining the best approach to meet the younger students’ expectations and needs.  The service-learning project will include a “pre-presentation” preparatory paper, a journaling assignment for notes during the preparation and presentation process, and a “post-presentation” reflection paper.