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Caricature, Cartooning, & Comics, 1620-1920 is a Course

Caricature, Cartooning, & Comics, 1620-1920

Ended Jun 1, 2021

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Full course description

This course will begin with the popularization of etching and early modern techniques for printing images, along with the rise of caricature in the 17th century.

We will follow the travels of early caricature from northern Italy across Europe, with a focus on England, where in the 18th century it would flourish both as a popular art form and a print marketplace. In the early decades of the 19th century we will look at the changes brought about by the rise of wood engraving, followed by a series of rapid advancements in industrial print technologies that would give rise to a new popular visual culture—including periodicals entirely devoted to cartooning beginning in the 1830s.

We will conclude by looking at the first generation of newspaper comics from the 1890s-1920s.

Since both art history and comics studies have largely neglected these materials, we will be collaboratively constructing both this history and the research methods and critical language we need to talk about this material.


The seminar is led by Jared Gardner, Professor of English and Director of the Humanities Institute at Ohio State, with support from colleagues at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. This seminar is sponsored by the Ohio State University Humanities Institute, and made possible by the support of the Office of Distance Education and eLearning and the Ohio State University Libraries.


For technical assistance, including logging in and password concerns, please contact the open learning team at moocs@osu.edu.

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