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

Caricature, Cartooning, & Comics, 1620-1920

Jan 11 - 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.

While we will of course be working with primarily digital materials, we will also discuss methods for conducting research in traditional archives, with support from materials at The Ohio State University’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum and Rare Books and Manuscripts Library.


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

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