Intermediality as cultural literacy and teaching the graphic novel

Geert Vandermeersche, Ronald Soetaert

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In their article "Intermediality as Cultural Literacy and Teaching the Graphic Novel" Geert Vandermeersche and Ronald Soetaert argue for the inclusion of the graphic novel for the teaching of cultural literacy and literature. As the printed book is no longer the sole carrier of cultural literacy, Vandermeersche and Soetaert postulate that literary culture must be repositioned in intermedial culture and practices. In order to do so, Vandermeersche and Soetaert apply Werner Wolf's typology of intermediality, aspects of narratology, and scholarship about comics. Following a theoretical discussion they analyze the graphic novel series The Unwritten, a text that thematizes the intermedial nature of (Western) culture today and mediates the function of literature and cultural literacy. Consequently, as Vandermeersche's and Soetaert's analysis suggests, narration incorporates references to and the thematization of other media and literary texts, which, in turn, creates embedded stories that try to link the entire fabric of literary culture together. As such, it changes the way we look at the transfer of cultural literacy to readers and students of literature and culture.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalCLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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