HIST 270: History, Cartoons, and Comic Books: Examining Historical Discourse through Popular Art

Credits 3 Lecture Hours 3

This course surveys the history of newspaper strips, comic books, pulp fiction, graphic novels, and other media from the 19th century to the present. Students will analyze different themes in world history--including imperialism, colonialism, war, civil unrest, and revolution--through the medium of the "comic" as it evolved throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Focused topics include the deconstruction of late 19th/early 20th century political cartoons, the creation of the modern comic book, the birth of the super hero, and historical events such as WWI, The Great Depression, WWII, and the Cold War.

Prerequisite Courses

Grade of C or better in ENG 100, or consent of instructor.

Course Outcomes
  •  Identify historical, cultural, political, economic,and social themes presented in 19th and 20th century popular forms of cartoons and comic art.
  •  Compare and contrast different forms of comic and cartoon art of the 19th and 20th centuries.
  •  Analyze the impact of comic and cartoon discourse throughout 19th and 20th century global history.
  •  Create an original argument based on the themes and topics of the course and compose a research paper that analyzes a particular piece (or pieces) of comic/cartoon art and its impact on historical discourse.