Monday, August 24, 2020

Mike Lynch Teaches History of Political Cartoons at the Institute of Art and Design at New England College

Happy to let everyone know that, starting today, I'm teaching two session of The History of Political Cartoons at the Institute of Art and Design at New England College. These are the books we're using. Some fascinating reading. And we get to have class during the election. Oh boy!

This class is 100% virtual for this semester, and both sessions are full. Here are a few fine points from the syllabus. I wrote it, so please be kind.


History of Political Cartoons

This course will cover the history of the art form of political cartoons, from their beginnings as caricature art in Europe to the maturation of the form and its role in the struggle against tyranny. We will study the elements of a political cartoon, its interpretation and its role in disseminating popular opinion; not only capturing the historic zeitgeist, but helping shape it as well. We will talk about images that have sparked strong reaction (from Daumier's cartoon of King Louis-Philippe that cost him 6 months in jail; Barry Blitt's fist-bumping Obamas New Yorker cover; Der Stürmer's antisemitic caricatures; the 2015 shooting murders at the Charlie Hebdo office for its satirical drawings of the prophet Muhammad; and so on). We will explore the women's movement, the advent of the African American and LGBTQ press in the 20th century, and the contribution of female, minority and queer creators. Through invited cartoonist guests, we will study the creative process behind today's political cartoons. We will also create our own editorial cartoons, and be tested on knowledge of the history of the form.

We will look at these topics:

- What are the symbols/tools used in a political cartoon?

- How do political cartoons effect change in society?

- Is a drawing more effective at promoting democratic values than words? Does it oversimplify?

- Is political satire journalism?

- Can a satirical drawing make fun of anyone; the weak as well as the powerful? Or should a cartoon always "punch up?"

- Should political cartoons always be constitutionally protected speech?

- How have cartoons changed over time?


The Art of Controversy by Victor S. Navasky, Knopf, 2014

Drawn and Quartered: The History of American Political Cartoons by Stephen Hess and Sandy Northrop, Elliot and Clark, 1996

Drawn to Extremes: The Use and Abuse of Editorial Cartoons by Chris Lamb, Columbia University Press, 2004

Plans are to have some guests and interviews with political cartoonists. Should be grand fun. More anon.


Anonymous said...

Looks like it's going to be a great class, Mike!

joecab said...

Right here in New England too -- congrats!