The aim of this seminar will be to examine the graphic novel as a literary medium. Using Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art as our theoretical basis, we will pay particular attention to the relationship between words and images, and the way that this relationship conveys meaning. At the same time, we will consider the ways in which the medium has developed since its popularization in the mid-1980’s with Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Art Spiegelman’s MAUS, looking at how the graphic novel has initiated a move away from mainstream comic book art and storylines and has engaged with social, political, and historical criticism.