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Unflattening Nick Sousanis | Harvard University Press, Nick sousanis thesis

Nick sousanis thesis

The end of August saw me take a whirlwind trip to São Paulo for the release of Unflattening in Portuguese (as Desaplanar from the wonderful Veneta Press). I spoke with comics scholars, enthusiasts, makers, and educators, courtesy of the organizers of Brazil’s 4th Annual International Comics Conference and the folks at Veneta. Grateful for all the support…

In its graphic innovations and restless shape-shifting, Unflattening is meant to counteract the type of narrow, rigid thinking that Sousanis calls “flatness.” Just as the two-dimensional inhabitants of Edwin A. Abbott’s novella Flatland could not fathom the concept of “upwards,” Sousanis says, we are often unable to see past the boundaries of our current frame of mind. Fusing words and images to produce new forms of knowledge, Unflattening teaches us how to access modes of understanding beyond what we normally apprehend.

 · Doctoral Dissertation as a Graphic Novel: ... so I naturally think Nick Sousanis made the right ... Read John Nash’s Super Short PhD Thesis with 26 ...

Originally created as a doctoral dissertation for Teachers College at Columbia University, this PhD thesis-as-comic is the latest stop in a journey by its author to explore scholarly essays in comics form. This quest began with Possibilities ( 2005 ), a shorter piece which helped secure Sousanis’ entry to Columbia’s doctoral programme.

A pop-up exhibition of several of Sousanis' prints will be on display from 2-18 Feb in the University Library at the Singel, 2nd floor. The exhibition will then pop- up at Science Park (22 February-09 March). This exhibition is an initiative of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies and was made possible in collaboration with Utrecht University.

Now a post-doctoral fellow in comic-book studies at the University of Calgary, Sousanis blogged much of his thesis, titled Unflattening, as he was writing and drawing it. He also printed excerpts and handed them out wherever he went. Given its unique format, he found plenty of willing hands.

New Statesman   Review  Neel Mukherjee. “[Unflattening] is a book that is dense with the syntheses of ideas, nimble, far-reaching and impossible to summarise. It liberates itself from the standard layout of panels within frames, teaching the eye and mind to read the unfailingly intelligent black-and-white artwork in unconventional and new ways.  Unflattening  deserves a place as a compulsory textbook in schools.”

To end with a positive observation: as I noted, Sousanis’s degree was conferred by Columbia Teacher’s College, and I could easily imagine Unflattening as a pedagogical text for high school students or first-year college students in composition, literature, philosophy, or the arts. Precisely the qualities that make it inadequate as a philosophical or historical argument would probably allow it to serve well as an introduction a broad range of ideas to students, and it probably speaks to their own frustrations in dealing with academic institutions, which, for reasons not totally bad or avoidable, answer to the charges Sousanis too hastily flings at western society as a whole.

In its graphic innovations and restless shape-shifting, Unflattening is meant to counteract the type of narrow, rigid thinking that Sousanis calls “flatness.” Just as the two-dimensional inhabitants of Edwin A. Abbott’s novella Flatland could not fathom the concept of “upwards,” Sousanis says, we are often unable to see past the boundaries of our current frame of mind. Fusing words and images to produce new forms of knowledge, Unflattening teaches us how to access modes of understanding beyond what we normally apprehend.

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Unflattening – Spin Weave and Cut - Nick Sousanis

One Giant Leap: A Review of Unflattening - The Comics Grid

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