Masters of the University - UEA launches new comic book course

A new comic book course has been launched at the UEA. Picture: Archant

A new comic book course has been launched at the UEA. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Biff! Pow! A groundbreaking new course at the UEA is offering postgraduates the chance to study Superman, brush up on Batman and learn about Lex Luthor.

In what is a nationwide first, the University of East Anglia is launching a Master of the Arts course in comic studies.

The new course will allow postgraduate students to immerse themselves in the craft of comic books, the culture they create and the blockbuster films that originate from them.

And with the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts - which provided a setting for the hugely popular Avengers movie franchise - on campus, the university is already well embedded in the comic book world.

The MA has been put together after lecturers at the university found modules focussing on comic book culture in other media courses were growing increasingly popular.

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Already, the university’s school of art, media and American studies runs modules on American comics, Japanese manga and superhero media, which have become more and more subscribed - leading the school leaders seeing a demand for the new course.

Frederik Byrn Kohlert, course leader, said: “Most people think of comics as the classic superhero magazine, but there is so much more to study in the world of comics.

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“Comics can tell stories ranging from the fantastic to the explicitly realistic, and include genres like autobiography, comics journalism and reportage, which often engage the fraught personal and geopolitical situations such as gender identity, war and the refugee crisis.

“Comics also have a long and rich history beginning with the 19th century satirical cartoons and newspaper comic strips, and have been the centre of transmedia franchises since their inception, with the most popular publishes now finding themselves within large corporations such as Disney and Time Warner.

“Whether students are new to the field or are developing existing interests, this degree will serve to deepen and broaden their understanding of comics and cultures. They will acquire an extensive knowledge of comics history, aesthetics, culture and industry, preparing themselves for employment in a rapidly growing cultural sector.”

Applicants for the course will need to have a degree in the humanities or social sciences.

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