A Century of Comics in English

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 5EN107

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
English G1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 21 October 2020
Responsible department
Department of English

Entry requirements

General entry requirements and English 6 or English B

Learning outcomes

Upon finishing the course, the student will be able to

  • understand and apply relevant terminology to investigate comics and their components;
  • demonstrate a broad knowledge about comics in English, their history and evolution;
  • demonstrate an understanding of selected critical material;
  • demonstrate knowledge about the narrative possibilities offered by the medium, as well as its limitations;
  • demonstrate familiarity with current debates on the medium;
  • demonstrate an ability to engage in a discussion, in largely fluent and precise English, of literary works.


This course is an introduction to comics and graphic novels in English. The global history of comics can be described in a number of different ways, and the roots of comics could conceivably be traced to very old sources. As they are usually perceived today, comics are a relatively young phenomenon, and the current cultural visibility of characters from comics is an even younger one, dominated by successful American franchises. Comics in English are significantly more diverse, however, and since the late 1940s, they have included explorations of topics such as war, racism, trauma, identity, and dysfunctional families, as well as funny animals and superhero stories. In this course, the focus is on Anglo-American comics, and it covers a wide variety of works, genres and prominent authors. The course material will include works from 1919 and later, as well as critical and theoretical texts.


Teaching takes place online and combines written assignments and virtual classes. English is the language of instruction.


Continuous assessment based on written assignments. Grades used are either Fail, Pass, or Pass with Distinction.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University ́s disability coordinator.

Students who do not achieve a passing grade on the regular examination will have another opportunity to take the examination within a reasonable period of time after the regular examination.

A student who has failed a certain test twice is entitled to being assigned a new examiner upon request.

Other directives

If the syllabus or course reading for a component has been changed, students have a right to be examined under the original syllabus and course reading on three occasions during the following three semesters. Normally this right then expires. Otherwise there are no limitations on the number of examination opportunities.

The course may not be included in a degree if that degree includes a corresponding component.

Transitional provisions

For transitional regulations in the case of changes in the syllabus, please contact the student adviser.