Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Jane Fife (Director), Dr. Deborah Logan, Dr. Theodore Hovet

Degree Program

Department of English

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Graphic texts, or graphic novels, have spent many years on shelves with comic books about superheroes and adventurers. They officially gained notoriety in 1992 with Art Spiegelman’s Maus, and at this time, critics and scholars began to take notice. However, graphic novels have not been fully adapted by academia. Graphic novels have the ability to offer new levels of instruction and learning in upper-level classrooms.
The following is a study in the multitude of uses of graphic text in academia. Chapter 1 looks at the history of graphic text to understand the present and future of graphic novels. Chapter 2 focuses on literacy issues to develop a basis for the use of graphic novels in the classroom. Chapter 3 offers a method of using graphic novels to broaden a students’ understanding of plays. Chapter 4 moves on to a study of graphic novels as works of literature. Through this look of historical data and an analysis and discussion of the modern form of graphic novels, we will come to the conclusion that graphic novels can be useful assets in the classroom when they are taken from the shelf of comic books and used to their full potential.


American Popular Culture