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The funny pages in black and not-quite-white : race, class and imperialism in American comic strips, 1924-1929

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The funny pages in black and not-quite-white : race, class and imperialism in American comic strips, 1924-1929

Marques, Sylvia Galley (2008) The funny pages in black and not-quite-white : race, class and imperialism in American comic strips, 1924-1929. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

From 1924-1929, Moon Mullins, The Gumps and Gasoline Alley reinforced the boundaries of dominant whiteness by essentializing poor whiteness. Poor white characters in these comic strips were singled out and marked as inherently different in two ways: first, through comparisons with non-white characters and second, through references to cultural myths associated with imperialism. These comic strips performed important work in conceptualizing whiteness for reasons directly tied to the comic strip form. Comic strips during this period strove to be highly accessible and had an extraordinarily large and broadly-based readership. The medium aimed to create a sense of community among readers and these readers engaged and identified with comic strips to a significant degree. This is evidenced most strikingly in comic strip readers' reactions to affective events within a strip's narrative arc and reader response to direct appeals from the comic strip on a more formal level. In turn, comic strip creators were particularly attentive to their audiences, as 1920s newspapers relied on comic strips to sell papers. For these reasons, comic strips provide a unique perspective on tastes and values of mainstream America. The ways in which Moon Mullins, Gasoline Alley and The Gumps articulated and reinforced the racial, behavioural and classed limits of whiteness reflected and reinforced the ways in which mainstream America conceptualized dominant whiteness.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Marques, Sylvia Galley
Pagination:viii, 159 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:History
Date:2008
Thesis Supervisor(s):Razlogova, E
ID Code:976398
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:25
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:42
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