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Medicine in American Popular Graphics from Political Cartoons of the 1860s to Children’s Comic Books in the 1940s

Medicine in American Popular Graphics from Political Cartoons of the 1860s to Children’s Comic Books in the 1940s Online

In this illustrated talk, Professor Bert Hansen sketches out a century-long sequence of American comic and cartoon art that sets the stage for the “graphic medicine” movement flourishing today.

Starting with Civil-War era political cartoons by the famous Thomas Nast, the talk explores humorous caricatures in Puck and Judge from the Gilded Age, and then glances at photojournalism and the story-telling style of LIFE magazine. The narrative ends with the explosive growth of the familiar action/adventure comics in the 1940s, many of which featured heroes like Walter Reed, Louis Pasteur, Edward Jenner, and Joseph Goldberger. This history illustrates how medicine and public health stories were being imagined by innovative graphic artists over a hundred years of changing media.

Please note that this event will not be recorded.


About the Speaker:

Photo of Professor Bert Hansen seated at a table with an open comic book in front of him.Bert Hansen is Professor Emeritus of History at Baruch College of CUNY. He is the author of Picturing Medical Progress from Pasteur to Polio: A History of Mass Media Images and Popular Attitudes in America. His recent publications include "The Kids are Alright" on juvenile biographies of scientists; "Pasteur in the Classroom: Rediscovering a 1940s Film," an invited blog for the National Library of Medicine"; Does Louis Pasteur Still Matter? Or will the scientist’s 200th birthday be his last soirée?Distillations (November 2022); and "Pasteur's Lifelong Engagement with the Fine Arts," Annals of Science (2021). His other articles on Pasteur's involvement with artists are now freely available through his website and also at these links: "Edelfelt Collaboration" at Project Muse, "Claudet and Dubois" at SAGE journals, and "Three Compatriots" at SAGE journals.


Learn more about the NLM traveling exhibit Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived and Well-Drawn and other related events at countway.info/graphicmed.





Thursday, January 25, 2024
2:00pm - 3:15pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
This is an online event. Event URL will be sent via registration email.
  Events     History of Medicine  
Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

Yasmina Kamal

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