Simple Complexity of 'Peanuts'

Full Course Title: 
Simple Complexity of 'Peanuts': Exploring the Perennially Popular Comic Strip

For nearly 50 years (1950 to February 2000), Charles Schulz wrote and illustrated a daily syndicated comic strip whose characters would become cultural icons, the most famous being Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Underlying the mass appeal, popularity, and inevitable commercial success and related merchandising was a thoughtful and literate sustained & sequential graphic narrative that dealt with complex, real-world adult topics and issues through the fictional narrative perspectives of young children, a dog, and a bird. In this course, we will examine and discuss the strip in aesthetic, narrative, and interdisciplinary contexts through such starting points as art, music, psychology, philosophy, religion, and history. Students will engage in both classroom and online discussions, and extensive individual and group research and writing.

Course Details
Course Number: 
Section Number(s) and Day/Times Taught: 
133: TR 11:00 - 12:15 pm
144: TR 12:30 - 1:45 pm
Spring 2022
The Arts
Global Issues
Student Success

Donald Presnell

Donald Presnell

Dr. Don Presnell holds MA degrees in English and Spanish from Appalachian State University. His doctoral dissertation—written in fulfillment of the Ed.D. degree in Educational Leadership in Appalachian State's Reich College of Education—is titled " 'Visitor to all, native to none': How Digital-native teacher education students use bricolage and multiple modalities to construct knowledge" (2012). For two years, he taught elementary Spanish (K-8) for two schools in the Watauga County school system. He is the co-author of A Critical History of Television's The Twilight Zone, 1959-1964 (McFarland, 1998) and has taught multiple sections of college English, Spanish, and humanities courses, including Basic English; Expository Writing; Introduction to Literature; Literature-Based Research; Writing Through Rhetoric; Writing Through Perception; British Literature; American Literature; World Literature; Introduction to Film; Elementary Spanish; Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age; The Narrative Art of Comics (First Year Seminar); The Twilight Zone (First Year Seminar); and Doctor Who: TARDIS Travels in General Education (First Year Seminar). He has been nominated for both the Brantz Award for Outstanding Teaching in First Year Seminar (2012) and the Harvey R. Durham Outstanding Freshman Advocate Award (2014, 2017, 2018) at Appalachian State University. He is currently the Director of the Common Reading Program and a Lecturer with First Year Seminar. His interests include multimodality; literature; comics and graphic novels; film and television studies; English and Spanish; pedagogy and instructional design; educational leadership; and baseball.