Research in Race and Ethnicities

L750 — Spring 2018

Ballantine Hall 137
Days and Times
5:45-8:45 W
Course Description

Topic: Racing Images: Race and Ethnicity in American Sequential Art Department Authorization Required; In this seminar we 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 played a vital role in the nations visual culture. We approach this contested terrain through the work of Jewish, African, Latino 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, superhero comics and autobiographical comics. This course also constitutes an introduction into the scholarly fields of popular culture and comics studies. Creators will likely include Charles Schulz, Aaron McGruder, George Herriman, Jackie Ormes, Stan Lee, Jaime Hernandez, Will Eisner, Gene Luen Yang, G. Willow Wilson, and Felipe Smith. The scholarship of Scott McCloud, Jill Lepore, Bradford W. Wright, and Trina Robbins will help provide historical and theoretical perspective. Instructor: De Witt Kilgore

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