Monday, October 11, 2010

Graphic Novel and the MFA

Here's a question from a visitor to the blog:

The MFA in comics in vermont sounds awesome and I'm glad it exists - but I think I'd be looking for more of a a classic MFA program that has an option to learn about or pursue graphic novel writing. And maybe the option to work on a thesis in that genre. My main motivation for pursuing an MFA is that I want to teach, and I'm afraid that an MFA in comics just wouldn't make me as marketable in that regard. Maybe its unfair of me to say that, but it seems like a valid concern in the academic world. They also don't offer TAships or funding, which are two really important (the most important) factors for me.
The program itself sounds like a dream for someone with my interests and skill level- I could use all those drawing classes! - but I'm worried about the practicality. If you or anyone you know has any suggestions for programs based on my criteria, let me know! Weirdly enough I've found programs in the UK that offer graphic novel courses (modules, they call it) inside of more traditional MFAs - but I haven't found any in America, besides maybe the Houston program you suggested. Brown seems so liberal and into multimedia stuff that I'm sure they would support a writer interested in this kind of work - although I don't know if they have anyone on the faculty interested or able to offer mentorship in that area. Do you know anything about their program? I think the key is just knowing faculty members in certain programs that have knowledge of this genre - but none of my graphic novel heroes seem to teach in academia :(

Maybe post this - and we'll see if anyone has suggestions/knowledge?


insertbrackets said...

I can't speak much for the MFA program itself fostering anything in the way of Writing the Graphic Novel, but Ohio State has a lot of people interested in them on the critical side of things, including an amazing and extensive comics library on campus. A number of MFA's are interested in them too. That, and the graduate interdisciplinary specialization in arts (essentially an arts minor) could allow for such a project for someone interesting in making the specialization work for their thesis. I can't speak to any knowledge of this having happened, but given the program's flexibility and the university's resources, it seems very possible.

Kerry Headley said...

A graphic novel class was offered at UNCW recently in the MFA program. Many of us are hoping that it will be offered again, but we don't know if it will. I think there is a petition circulating right now.

I'm in my first year here in CNF. If anyone has any questions, I'm happy to try to answer them.

Kendra said...

I'm taking a Graphic Novel course next semester at the University of Michigan - it's offered every spring. If you're interested, you can also take courses in the art department to count toward your degree requirements. I hope this helps!

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Goddard College offers a low-residency MFA in Creative Writing with an award-winning faculty offering a wide range of specialties and life experiences, allowing students to study a variety of genres and styles, including graphic novel.

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