CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

Review: Multimodal Literacies and Graphic Memoirs: Using Alison Bechdel in the Classroom

Department

Department of Writing and Communication

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Publication Title

Composition Studies

ISSN

1542-5894

Volume

43

Issue/No.

1

First Page

193

Last Page

200

Abstract

In Dale Jacobs' Graphic Encounters, he discusses the importance of "[c]omplicating the view of comics so that they are not seen as simply an intermediary step to more complex word-based texts" (17). Jacobs writes that comics' readers require use of the visual, gestural, and spatial elements displayed in the panels and gutter space on a page in order to truly understand a text (14). Alison Bechdel's graphic memoirs Fun Home and Are You My Mother? further complicate the literacies needed to understand comics as she layers her memoirs with archival, literacy, and psychoanalytic figures and concepts. More than a book about her family, Bechdel's memoirs look closely at sexuality, relationships, and self-realization within herself and others. As Jacobs' work attests, graphic memoirs like Bechdel's are both interesting reads and valuable pedagogical tools. Brought into the composition classroom, these memoirs provide entry points into discussions of literacy acquisition and the writing process, research and source material, and multimodal meaning-making practices.

ORCID ID

0000-0002-0319-4918

Peer Reviewed

Find in your library

Share

COinS