A Public Service Announcement! ;)

A Public Service Announcement! ;)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

ENglish Education Resources

Here are a few links that I feel every English Education student or teacher should know. Of course, I feel the same way about the links I've posted in the other sections, and just because a link shows up somewhere besides this string doesn't mean I don't think it has applicability to the English/Language Arts. Buuuut, these are some of the biggies in EE.

Again, please feel free to add your own links as well, with maybe a sentence or two description of the link, if you please.

NCTE/IRA Standards for English language arts: A must-have for any English teacher.

ReadWriteThink: An excellent source of lesson plans!

Dr. Allen Webb's English Education Resource Clearinghouse: OK, he doesn't call it that, but with a little investment of time, one can find pretty much anything related to English Education methods, perspectives, and initiatives by visiting this excellent site hosted by one of my favorite English Education scholars.

ECU's English Education Resource Clearinghouse: OK, they don't call it that, but this collection of links, pretty much categorized and listed all on one page, is another great resource to other great resources.

NCTE: The National Council of Teachers of English. If you're not a member, become one today. This has been THE professional organization for English teachers since 1911. Even if you're a pre-service teacher and don't have much money to spend on their subscriptions, etc., sign up for their Inbox newsletters and keep yourself in the know on the most up-to-date happenings in your field.

IRA: The International Reading Association: I firmly believe that English teachers MUST see themselves as reading teachers. This association works closely with NCTE, and I expect them to work even more closely in the coming years.

ALAN: The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents. I'd say NCTE, IRA, and ALAN make up the Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman of organizations every English teacher should know. From the site: "The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents is an independent assembly of NCTE. Founded in November 1973, ALAN is made up of teachers, authors, librarians, publishers, teacher-educators and their students, and others who are particularly interested in the area of young adult literature. ALAN, which is self-governing, holds its annual meetings during the NCTE annual convention in November and also publishes The ALAN Review."

Dictionary.com: If you're as bad a speller and malapropist as I am, it never hurts to have this baby bookmarked!

See English teachers in action via streaming video! Click here, and here! Thanks to Dr.Don Zancanella at the University of New Mexico for these links. Also, check out Dr. Zancanella's own English teacher-centered blog, Language Arts-New Mexico.

See the Young Adult Library Services Association's Top Ten Books of 2006, chosen by teens themselves!:

Multiple Literacies Link

Here are some websites that focus on multigenre, multimodal, or otherwise "New" literacies. I'll add links as I find them, and feel free to add your own in the comments section as well. Please do take a second to give a brief description of the link you offer.

A Question of Literacy: Visual Literacy: A good definition of visual literacy as well as some important links.

Reading Next: An Alliance for Excellent Education project. From the site: "Reading Next is a cutting-edge report that combines the best research currently available with well-crafted strategies for turning that research into practice. Informed by five of the nation's leading researchers, Reading Next charts an immediate route to improving adolescent literacy." Follow the link, look at the materials, and see what you think.

Arts Education Partnership publications: Excellent sources. Especially in terms of sequential art, we sometimes forget that when we're reading a graphic novel in class, we're automatically engaging in cross-curricular endeavor. Those images didn't just appear; they were crafted and created. There's a process to study in them just as there is in the writing, and in the study of the overall form the words and images create in tandem. Arts literacy is literacy.

Champions for Change: A report from AEP that I find particularly compelling.

A History of Early Visual Media: A little hard to navigate but worth a look. It deals mostly with early cinema, pre-cinema, film and photography.

IVLA: The International Visual Literacy Association. Great organization that reaches across disciplines. From the site: "IVLA was formed for the purpose of providing a forum for the exchange of information related to visual literacy. We are also concerned with issues dealing with education, instruction and training in modes of visual communication and their application through the concept of visual literacy to individuals, groups, organizations, and to the public in general." Also see this definition of visual literacy.

NCTE Statements on Multimodal Literacy: See what NCTE has to say about MML.

NCTE and Visual Literacy: Doing a search for multimodal literacy and/or visual literacy on the NCTE website will probably yield more results, but here's a link to a minor source from a few years back. Note that visual literacy in education isn't just a 21st century notion.

The On-line Visual Literacy Project: Very cool site from Pomona College. Multimodal in layout, it offers many videos, voice overlays, and graphics to explain visual literacy and its many component parts. It focuses on explication of elements of design and doesn't tie back directly to other literacies, sort of an art about art approach. But, with the application of a little intellect, one easily sees how this site is a great resource for any teacher.

SANE links!

Below are links to websites with connections to sequential art in education. Some are directly pedagogical; some are "scholarly pedagogical."

First, shameless self-promotion:

Textus/praxis: This is where I detail my philosophy of reading and define what I think literacy entails. Rooted in theory, it is a "way of seeing" that I feel has revolutionary potential for educators. Graphic novels and comics are a large part of textus/praxis.

ReadWriteThink: This site has many comics-related lesson plans. This link is to the ones I've published with the site, which is co-sponsored by NCTE and IRA. The Comic Book Show and Tell is a writing workshop lesson that also includes a primer on comic book production. So, even if you or your students lack expertise in the comics form, this lesson is for you. The fairy tale revision lesson is a multigenre approach to examining fairy tale motifs. More to come, and also check out the main page and search for more comics-related lessons!

ImageTexT: an excellent on-line journal out of comics-scholarship stronghold University of Florida, I've published in this journal and think it is an excellent resource for scholarly articles and reviews of sequential art narratives. A children's literature themed edition of the journal should be on-line soon.

Outcast Studios: This is an independent comics site for which I used to write articles and reviews and even some scripts. The good folks there have recently gone to a Wiki format and are trying to become a one-stop comics creator's resource page. Some of my earliest columns for this site can be found here.

Other great SANE links:

ALA: "Comic books and graphic novels: Digital resources for an evolving form of art and literature": This article gives links to other web-based comics resources, including review sites and libraries.

Americana: the Journal of American Popular Culture, 1900-Present. A comics-friendly academic journal.

Comic Books for Young Adults: Librarian Michael R. Lavin's excellent exposition on comics, kids, and libraries. Excellent practical information from an informed expert.

Comics-related theses and dissertations. Exactly what it says. Yep, people do such work more often than you might think!

Comics Research: The main page for the link listed above. This is an excellent resource for those who need to know how to get their comics scholarship published, or for those who need evidence that such scholarship exists!

Emaki Productions: The website for Berkeley, California-based independent schoalr Neil Cohn, Emaki offers tons of free essays and illustrates Cohn's theories on sequential art. Basically the Todorov of comics scholarship, Cohn sees comics as a language in and of itself, with its own grammars and structures. Highly recommended! I teach his theories alongside my Textus/praxis theory and Scott McCloud's ideas in Understanding Comics when I teach my "Comics as Literature" class.

ENGL243B: Comic Book Literature: Arnold T. Blumberg's syllabus and materials for his comic book class.

The Grand comic Book Database: Search thousands of titles and see the original date of publication and cover image for each one. An amazing resource that secondary teachers can use for any number of exciting projects. For example: Compare cover images from the 1940s to images from the 1960s. What social issues and concerns are evident from this examination? Oh, the potential!

Image and Narrative: Another comics-friendly on-line academic journal. It has ties to ImageTexT.

National Association of Comics Art Educators: NACAE, or "naysay" has often focused on those who teach comic art to aspiring comic artists but has recently branched out into sharing a focus with k-12 education. An excellent organization with vast potential.

New York Comic Book Museum: Tons of practical ideas and projects for k-12 teachers. The site is very persuasive in showing sequential art's pedagogical potential. Very impressive and highly recommended.

Graphic Novels for Multiple Literacies: Gretchen E. Schwarz's seminal article on graphic novels. A must-read for k-12 educators.

Charles Hatfield: This children's literature and comics scholar teaches comics classes and has some pretty interesting opinions on kids, comics, and reading. I don't agree with all of his ideas (it is worth noting that he is a professor, but not an education professor), but I absolutely respect his work and feel he's worthy of serious attention.

Build It and They Will Come: Kerry Ireland's article on how to craft a solid graphic novel collection in the library.

The Comic Book Project: Dr. Michael Bitz has been doing some astounding work with comics and inner-city kids in his many after school sites. This project educates middle and high schoolers on the aspects of comics production and then asks them to create their own sequential art narratives. The results have been poignant and amazing. An absolute must-know resource for k-12 educators.

Ohio State's Yellow Kid Collection: Considered the first American comic strip character, the Yellow Kid series is often also considered the birth of American comic books. No comics scholar's education is complete without background on this poverty-stricken scamp from Hogan's Ally dating from 1895 newspapers.

WRAC 130.11: American Radical Thought. Another comics/graphic novel-heavy syllabus.

Martin Luther King Jr Comic from the 50s: I'll be teaching Ho Che Anderson's King (2005) later this semester in my Eng 311: Contemporary trends and Issues in Graphic Novels class (Spring 2007, USM), and this link should make for some great comparison. Thanks to Trina Robbins for posting this to the comics scholars listserve!

Three Sequential Art Anthologies Available!:

The New Smithsonian Book of Comic Book Stories: From Crumb to Clowes. Edited by B. Callahan (2004).

An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories
Edited by Ivan Brunetti (2006).

The Best American Comics 2006
Edited by Harvey Pekar (2006).

Each of these anthologies feature an array of talent ranging from known figures such as Art Spiegelman and R. Crumb and Linda Barry, to relative newcomers Chris Burns and Seth. The Smithsonian collection has more mainstream and superhero representation than the other two, and certainly a teacher would want to pick and choose which contributions to use for classroom teaching, but all three are highly recommended. I've read'em all and think that, for the price and the sampling they represent, they are excellent reads and excellent buys.

No Flying No Tights Blog: A blog devoted to reviewing graphic novels for teens! A student in my Ya Lit class at UVA recommended it, and so did "Morgan" over on the NCTE blog. as the title suggests, it shows that sequential art narratives are more than superheroes (but superheroes are still cool!).

Monday, November 27, 2006


Welcome to Bucky's EN/SANE World! If you've known me for a while, you know the title fits. If you're just coming to know me, you'll know soon enough.

This is my bungalow for sharing information about my academic interests and pursuits. I am currently finishing up my Ph.D. in English Education at the University of Virginia. I also currently teach English and English Education classes at The University of Southern Mississippi.

My interests include the field of English Education, Young Adult Literature, Reading and Multiple Literacies, and Critical Pedagogy. My area of expertise is in comics and graphic novels and the intersections they have with the above.

My desire is to use this blog as resource for those with similar interests and for those who are "fortunate" enough to be my students.

As I develop the blog, I'll be posting more and more about myself, sharing a bit about my work, adding links to important sites, and maybe even asking for individuals to do some posting too.

Check in often, and welcome to my world!