COURSE: English 550
MEDIUM: Graphic Essay
As an English major, I had never questioned the concept of the classic academic paper…
I had never questioned why it must be in Times New Roman 12-point font, double-spaced lines, and complete with perfectly measured 1’ margins. It really was a recipe for a piece of work that is both visually boring and lacking in creative opportunity for the expression of an argument. Thus, a graphic essay was born. The transformed essay, Wounded Memory: A Brief Look at Mental Trauma Post 9/11, was the product of a literature theory course on trauma, and its adaptation into a graphic essay presents a total deconstruction of the academic paper. The paper’s rebirth is an exhibition of the digital humanities movement, which bridges the creativity gap between art majors and English majors. The graphic essay’s creation utilized methods of graphic design in which every illustration presented was digitally crafted and meticulously remodeled. The addition of images allowed for the shortening of the narrative and the overall effect produced by the juxtaposition of words with pictures elevated the intensity of the argument. The binding of the original product served as the culmination of the deconstruction of the academic essay. It was printed on 8.5×11 inch paper, was then mutilated so that the pages were 5×5 inches, and instead of the upper left-hand staple, the pages were asymmetrically stitched together with blood red thread. The final project is essentially a concept, one that pushes for creative freedom for the university student.