Against the backdrop of a political debate focused on perceived dangers of immigration, this event seeks to inspire constructive discussions on migrant experiences in Europe and the United States. Scholars, artists and activists will discuss past and present migration topics seen through comics, and will demonstrate that graphic narratives have always been and continue to be a vital medium of migration.
Rudolph Dirks, The Katzenjammer Kids
It is no exaggeration to say that the modern comic strip is a child of migration: originating around 1900, American strips in the Yellow Press such as Hogan's Alley and Katzenjammer Kids, targeted immigrant readers who often struggled with reading English. Today, Haawiyat, a recent free comic book based on traditional Syrian folklore, addresses immigrant children, while Average Mohamed, a series of animated cartoons, educates adolescents on ISIS propaganda. But visual narratives also engage with migration topics for a sophisticated audience, from graphic memoirs like Persepolis or Vietnamerica to contemporary forms of journalism comics. In a different way, Wing Young Huie has created visual narratives on migration to Minnesota both as journalist photographer and as an educator inspiring students to "chalk talks". A roundtable discussion with him and other Minnesotan artists and activists, and a keynote address with public reception, will be complemented by a conference with scholars from Political Sciences, Media & Rhetoric, and Asian, French, German, and Nordic Studies.
Ursula Murrray Husted: Haawiyat