851-0007-00L  Comics & Colonialism

SemesterHerbstsemester 2020
DozierendeB. Schär
Periodizitäteinmalige Veranstaltung
KommentarMaximale Teilnehmerzahl: 46

KurzbeschreibungComics played an important role during the colonial period as transmitters of colonial images and racism. Today they are used to criticise colonial continuities. In this seminar we will examine scholarship on the subject matter and analyse concrete examples from different world-regions and periods.
LernzielStudents learn about the history of comics in the colonial period and in the ongoing phase of decolonisation. A special focus is on how comics depict the role of science and technology as a signs of European modernity and alleged superiority. Students will become familiar with approaches of postcolonial theory, the role of science and technologie in (post-)colonial imaginaries and learn to analyse colonial continuities in contemporary everyday culture critically.
InhaltColonialism has profoundly changed the lives not only of societies in the colonies, but also in Europe itself. Comics and children's books are one example: popular children's heroes such as 'Tintin' or 'Lucky Luke' from Belgium or 'Globi' in Switzerland often experienced their 'adventures' on colonial stages. A recurring theme in these comics is the alleged superiority of European science, technology, and modernity.
This colonial imagery influenced generations of adolescents. From the 1970s onwards, criticism of these comics became more frequent and public controversies arose about how to deal with them. Parallel to this, anti-racist comics have been appearing for several years now, retelling the history of colonialism with its intricate links to ideas of European progress through science and technology for white and non-white children.
This seminar will use scholarly texts and concrete examples to familiarise participants with the changing role of comics in the age of colonialism and globalisation. This will set the stage for a mutual reflection on how cartoons and comics shaped our own world-views and to discuss questions such as: How to deal with racist comics from colonial times today? To what extent do comics today succeed in helping children and families from Europe and the former colonies to enter into dialogues about their shared but difficult history?