Communication, Media, and Design Gallery for Literature and Language

Contemporary Literature

The students in Contemporary Literature Fall 2020 read Italo Calvino's short story collection Cosmicomics.  The stories are unusual because the so-called main characters are unnatural entities: narrators who exist before time and matter came into being, who have no language or sign systems, who exist all at one point before the universe expanded.  The assignment was to create a performance from these stories that emphasize the "abstractness" of Calvino's universe.  The created shortened versions of the stories, which were to be read aloud.  To accompany the stories they were to create any kind of visual/auditory display, as long as it did not treat the characters literally, e.g., little beings floating in space.  Calvino opens each story with a quotation from a scientific text and follows with his own narrative.  The results of all the performances were delightful.



THE SHORT STORY LITR 2960 with Skye Anicca, PhD

Story to comic adaptations.

In this literature course, we use contemporary, multimedia approaches to bring literary short stories to life, such as comic book adaptations, script writing, and book outlines. These projects prepare students for a variety of careers in which storytelling and narrative design are cast across media and platforms.


Alicia Berghorn and Daegan Fuss present a hand-drawn comic adaptation of Karen Russell’s short story “Haunting Olivia”

Kristina Ferrara, Alayna Abraham, and Ashley Getsie adapt Russell's "Haunting Olivia" to a digital comic strip format








The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Russell Sage Laboratory (SAGE) 5304, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180
(518) 276-6575

Back to top