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Making History Public: Revealing America’s History Through Comic Books

For those of you who don’t know, the BC History Department has teamed up with Burns Library to create new and totally awesome classes about “Making History Public.” Classes have had the opportunity to explore maps, the Boston Commons, rare books from the 1400s through the 1800s, and, for my lucky class, comic books—all while working to develop exhibits for the history department. And the most amazing part is that all these incredible resources are found in Burns Library! Who would have guessed that BC has a collection of almost 12,000 comic books?? I never would have before taking my class.

We didn’t think there was ANY way we’d successfully be able to pull together this exhibit. The first day of class was literally two hours of everyone yelling at each other about how we wanted the syllabus to look and some of us (read: me) sitting in silence, definitely intrigued but definitely a bit terrified. Now, a year later, we’re all SO proud of the exhibit. It’s absolutely amazing, and it was incredible to see how each person in the class looked at history in comic books differently. Ever wonder how Watergate is portrayed in Captain America? Got it. What about the JFK assassination? That’s there as well. The fitness movement and masculinity in Batman, Superman, and advertisements? Well, we’ve covered that, too! And if those topics (among the many) aren’t reason enough to check out our beautiful exhibit, here’s something more: it looks like a giant comic book. Each panel looks like a page in a comic book, complete with images, text boxes, and speech bubbles. So really, what are you waiting for?

The exhibit officially opens on Wednesday, February 12th, but it’s already hanging in the History Department on the third floor of Stokes South. It will be up all semester, so be sure to check it out! Further proof that history really IS the best major!


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