Research in Aesthetics, Genre, and Form (Post-1800)

L740 — Fall 2021

De Witt Douglas Kilgore
Days and Times
9:25a - 12:25p R (4 CR)
Course Description

AUTHORIZIATION REQUIRED. After the designated pre-enrollment period, English department graduate students and outside minors please email All other students please contact the instructor first for permission.

Topic: Racing Images: Race and Ethnicity in American Sequential Art

This seminar will explore race and ethnicity in American comic strips, comic books and graphic novels. After laying the historical foundation of American comics in the early twentieth century we will situate the bulk of our inquiry in the decades following the Second World War. In this period American comics are marked by and struggle with the image bank of racial and ethnic caricature that has played a vital role in the nation’s visual culture. We approach this contested terrain through the work of Jewish, African, and Asian American creators as they intervene in, modify and transform the graphic imaginary of American comics. The seminar will cover a range of genres such as the gag strip, romance, adventure, and graphic memoir. This course also constitutes an introduction into the scholarly fields of popular culture and comics studies.

Creators will likely include George Herriman, Ebony Flowers, Harvey Pekar, Jackie Ormes, Will Eisner, Gene Luen Yang, and Tim Fielder. The scholarship of Scott McCloud, Hilary Chute, Bradford W. Wright, and Trina Robbins, among others, will help provide historical and theoretical perspective.

Interested in this course?

The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

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