Using Graphic Narratives to Teach Critical Visual Literacy
1 Introduction: Bringing Theory to Practice
Introduction: Bringing Theory to Practice
The purpose of this text is to present the context of the representation of difference and the way that students in American schools learn about those who are different from them. To confront and challenge stereotypical understanding, I argue that educators need to first present the problematic, stereotypical images and text for analysis to understand how and why more authentic representations can counteract bias and lead to change. The first four chapters of the book establish the theoretical and historical context for the analysis of media and graphic narratives that follow in Chapters 5 through 10. This introduction lays the framework for the media and texts that are analyzed in later chapters. This also presents the theoretical and analytical foundation for the rest of the text, including comics theory, critical visual analysis, critical visual literacy, critical race and feminist theory and pedagogy. The first chapter gives the historical context of colonialism, postcolonialism, and Orientalism that explicitly or implicitly informs all of the graphic narratives in the text. Chapter 2 goes into more depth about visual modes of representation of difference and the encoding of visual language in the service of narrative. The third chapter traces the fundamental impact of the terrorist attacks on September 11th on the representation of Muslims in the United States and global relationships. This dovetails into the fourth chapter that begins the analysis of contemporary works of fictional ← 1 | 2 → and nonfictional representations of difference,...
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