Andrea Horbinski at AHA

30 Jan, 2018

Andrea Horbinski at AHA

On January 5th, alum Andrea Horbinski presented "Don’t Fear the Gutter: Platforms, Formats, and Comics in Postwar and Postmodern Japan" during the session on Comics and History: New Historical Research at the American Historical Association meeting.

The American Historical Association is the largest professional organization serving historians in all fields and all professions. The AHA is a trusted voice advocating for history education, the professional work of historians, and the critical role of historical thinking in public life.

Andrea's talk discussed the impact of platforms on the spread of media. See below!

"Scholars increasingly accept that comics are important sources for understanding popular culture and social values in the societies that have produced them. However, the first generations of historians to seriously study comic books largely focused on issues and approaches that derived from our own discipline. More recently, new tools of visual rhetorical analysis and ways of viewing the past through comics have been pioneered by a generation of scholars looking at issues of race, gender, and class.

"Most writing on comics assumes that the medium is popular because of its content, i.e. the stories it tells and the fact that it tells them using a seductive combination of text and images. Looking at the history of manga in Japan from approximately 1945-80, however, leads to a very different conclusion: the spread of media is more heavily correlated to the platforms and formats it adopts than to the content of that media. In other words, manga became widespread in Japanese society in this time period less because of any intrinsic quality of comics than because of the affordances of the platforms and formats through which it was distributed."

Read more about the event here.