Visiting Assistant Professor of Literature and Creative Writing Nhora Lucía Serrano presented a paper at the 2nd Annual Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 14. “Border, Walls, and Canon (De)Constructions: The Immigrant in Comics” was part of the inaugural Scholarly Symposium at CXC.
Based on the theme of the symposium, “Canon Fodder,” Serrano turned to the significance of the immigrant in comics, discussing the crucial role that early cartoons have played in representing, constructing and reifying the immigrant subject and the immigrant experience in the 20th century.
In particular, she focused on how editorial cartoons of late 1800s and early 1900s in Joseph Keppler’s Puck magazine, the first successful humor magazine in the United States, visually shaped the comics canon.
Serrano suggested that these early caricatures of immigrants are a visual discourse that have influenced a visual genealogy of ethnicity, race and identity in the 20th century.
The event was hosted by the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University (OSU) in partnership with OSU’s Popular Culture Studies program, Sol-Con: the Brown + Black Comix Expo, the Columbus College of Art & Design, and the Comics Studies Society.