The degree of visual communication

June 16, 2011 in Comment, News

Bloghorn Opinion logoThis story raised a storm about the value of the drawn form as a subject worthy of study. The row provoked by the Labour MP Tom Harris has provided some lively correspondence for Bloghorn. Rob Murray reports:

Dr Ernesto Priego, co-editor of The Comics Grid, publicly responded to Mr Harris by asking him whether he also believed that film courses constitute dumbing down.

Speaking  to Bloghorn he said: “The new programme at Dundee is a triumph for comics scholarship worldwide.

“It will certainly be an asset for Dundee and the UK.

“The MP’s opinion was misinformed. It represents the view of many people who still don’t understand what comics are, have been, can be.” Dr Priego added: “I believe it’s also our responsibility to inform the wider public, and the policy makers, [of] the importance of graphic storytelling.”

Dr Priego is not alone. The Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie has also come out against his colleague’s comments. You can read his thoughts on the cultural value of comics here.

Bloghorn thanks Dr Priego who  holds a PhD in Information Studies, focusing on comics and digital technology, for his time and opinions.

EDITED: Noon 16th June

Bloghorn thanks Gregor Murray from the office of Stewart Hosie for passing details of the local media story which you can read here.

Editor, Matthew Buck adds:

Isn’t there a need for more courses like Dundee’s (at degree level or, indeed, much lower down the education “value chain”) to help move opinion about drawing beyond such ill-informed prejudice?

It would help develop better practice of communication for both business and people in the digital age.

Please have your say in the comments below. Bloghorn will be publishing more reaction to this story tomorrow.

2 responses to The degree of visual communication

  1. Hey there!

    Just a wee minor thing – Stewart’s name isn’t Stuart, thanks!

    There was a bit of an argument about it on twitter too – between @TomHarrisMP and @DundeeSNP and many representives of the industry. The local press story is here – http://www.thecourier.co.uk/Community/College-and-University/article/14681/tom-harris-causes-twitter-storm-by-accusing-dundee-university-of-dumbing-down-with-comic-studies-degree.html

    Also, the next day Mr Harris decided to write an article claiming that tuition fees shouldn’t be free in Scotland, although seemed to miss the point that as an MLitt and not an MA, this course would not be paid for by the government. I just finished an MLitt and Dundee in the same department, and I definitely forked out the cash!

  2. Mr Harris, watch and learn. Comics – comics of all persuasions are historic documents. Bits of sociology. Bits of history. Bits of what people DO.How they think. How they vote. Spiderman’s who he is because there’s a need for him. Gilbert Shelton’s Fat Freddy’s Cat sprang from certain socio – chemical goings-on in California. Steve Bell wouldn’t be as brilliant as he is without parliamentary fodder. Mr Harris is a parliamentarian isn’t he ? Hmmmm. Thinks…………So keep your powder dry Mr Harris. Don’t judge WHAT is taught but rather, how well it is taught. Apart from line dancing and nationalism – both of which are infinitely boring.

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