Title Using popular culture to make sense of the 2011 antiauthoritarian popular revolts in the MENA region: Theory and practice of the use of graphic novels and comics in classrooms
External publication No
Means Rev. Esp. Cienc. Polit.
Scope Article
Nature Científica
SJR Quartile 2
SJR Impact 0.26600
Web https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85149619934&doi=10.21308%2frecp.60.06&partnerID=40&md5=6c374a3ddabd0f4031dea9f37070ade6
Publication date 01/11/2022
ISI 000892212800007
Scopus Id 2-s2.0-85149619934
DOI 10.21308/recp.60.06
Abstract This article reflects on the relevance of popular culture in teaching IR and political science. Specifically, we present an active learning activity which includes the collective discussion of two comic strips -"The battle of the packets" and "Sharia Japanese style" (Tok Tok Anthology, 2018)-. Our first aim was for students to learn about North African and specifically about the 2011 antiauthoritarian popular protests (or the so-called "Arab Spring") as well as the main factors that caused them. Beyond this acquisition of basic knowledge, the designed activity aimed to enable students to "make sense" of the fact by using social theory movements\' key concepts. Finally, the activity was intended to encourage students to reflect on the impact of (mainstream and non-mainstream) representations in their learning process and to engage them with the region by promoting higher levels of empathy with local actors. Preliminary result show that students increased their knowledge about the region. While only one student (out of 14) was able to establish the causes of the 2011 regional event before the activity, almost all of them (13/14) were able to explain the factors behind the mobilizations after the activity took place. Moreover, many students referred specifically to concepts such us "window of opportunity", "example" or "cleavages" after the activity. Finally, during the post-activity class discussions, students showed a higher sense of empathy and pointed out how relevant the comic was to better understand the actors working within the region.
Keywords MENA region; collaborative learning; comics; graphic novels; popular culture material; active learning; international relations
Universidad Loyola members

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