Category: world war ii


Memorial Day and the Lee Street Massacre

Today, we celebrate Memorial Day in the United States, a day where we remember those who died serving their country. In May 1865, less than a month after the Confederacy surrendered, ending the Civil War, recently freed African Americans celebrated Decoration Day. On May 1, 1865, 10,000 people, largely formerly enslaved individuals, gathered and marched around the Charleston racetrack, commemorating the 260 Union soldiers … Read More Memorial Day and the Lee Street Massacre

“Is it starting here, yet?”

Madison Square Garden (MSG) played host to the “Pro American Rally” on February 20, 1939. Over 20,000 people packed into MSG to take part in the rally where they recited the Pledge of Allegiance, sang the National Anthem, and listened to speeches. The rally took place to coincide with George Washington’s birthday, and a large image of America’s first president gazed down on the … Read More “Is it starting here, yet?”


Narrative Construction in Art Spiegelman’s “Maus”

One thing that I really enjoy about graphic memoirs is the metanarrative nature of the medium. When reading a prose autobiography, the author typically does not draw attention to the compositional aspects of the text. For example, with Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, we know that he writes to his son; however, he does not refer to the writing of the text or the way he … Read More Narrative Construction in Art Spiegelman’s “Maus”


Graphic Memoir Project

This semester in my Literature and Composition Graphic Memoirs class I am having students do a creative final project. For this project, they will either create their own graphic memoir or do a “Call and Response” piece for Looking at Appalachia. Since this is a new assignment, I am making my own graphic memoir alongside my students, trying my hand at creating a text. … Read More Graphic Memoir Project

Fences in George Takei’s “They Called Us Enemy”

Some of the strongest symbols within George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy are the fences that surround Rohwer and Tule Lake interment camps. There are multiple panels depicting the barbed wire fences, and various angles occur in each of the panels. These images, coupled with Takei’s words, highlight the psychological effects of xenophobia and racism on individuals, especially children such as Takei. I have … Read More Fences in George Takei’s “They Called Us Enemy”