880088 :The Visual Language of Comics (T&C/BDM)


Voertaal Engels
Werkvorm: 14 x 2 hours lectures (Collegerooster)
Tentamenvorm: See Specifics (Tentamenrooster)
Studielast:6 ECTS credits
Inschrijving:Inschrijven via Blackboard voor aanvang colleges
Blackboard informatieLink to Blackboard (Als u de melding 'Guest are not allowed in this course' krijgt, dient u nog bij Blackboard in te loggen)


dr. N.T. Cohn (coordinator)

Doel van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

This course aims to explore the question: How do our minds and brains understand drawings and the sequential images in comics? This course explores the structure of the visual language of "comics" by situating the capacity for creating graphic images within the traditions of the linguistic, psychological, and cognitive sciences. The primary notion is the idea that drawings and sequential images are structured in the same way as language, and thus we can use methods of the linguistic and cognitive sciences to study and understand these graphic systems. Not only will this class make connections between a range of graphic communicative systems (drawings, comics, emoji) and spoken and signed languages, but students will leave with an appreciation for a diverse range of linguistic principles and cognitive science research.

After the course the students are able to: 

  • Describe, analyze, and compare relevant literature on drawings and visual language

  • Understand and evaluate linguistic principles applied beyond verbal language 

  • Recognize and understand different cultural perspectives underlying writing and drawing

  • Analyze the properties of drawings, visual narratives, and multimodal texts

  • Identify and appreciate diverse graphic systems from around the world

  • Better appreciate the elements and content of visual narratives, like comics!

Inhoud van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

This course consists of one lecture per week during which we will discuss linguistic theories about the structure of language, drawing, visual communication, and multimodality. Lectures will both cover the relevant literature, as well as probe students’ intuitions for the various aspects of visual language structure that are discussed through in-class participation.

Bijzonderheden (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

Please mind: this course replaces the course Psychocinematics: Visual story perception and understanding 880020.

12 homework assignments (40%), 1 midterm examination (30%), 1 final examination (30%).

Homework assignments will challenge students to apply the linguistic principles learned in class to actual examples of drawings and comics. Homeworks are graded on a pass/fail basis of whether they are turned in or not, and will be self-assessed by students the following week. Exams will then test whether sufficient acquisition of this knowledge has been learned. The final grade is the cumulative scores for all homeworks and examinations.

Verplichte literatuur

  1. The Visual Language of Comics by Neil Cohn
  2. The Visual Narrative Reader edited by Neil Cohn
  3. Selected readings available on Blackboard

Vereiste voorkennis


Mogelijk interessant voor

  • Bachelor CIW: Bedrijfscommunicatie en Digitale Media ( 2015, 2016 )
  • Bachelor CIW: Tekst en Communicatie ( 2015, 2016 )
  • Bachelor CIW: Human Aspects of Information Technology ( 2015, 2016 )