Middlebury College Museum of Art

Wednesday, October 5

The Representation of Japanese Culture in Comic Books from the Americas: From Orientalist Narratives to New Globalized Aesthetics

Illustrated Lecture
Time: 4:30pm
Location: Franklin Environmental Center, The Orchard-Hillcrest 103

Enrique García, Associate Professor of Hispanic Visual Culture, and Chair, Luso-Hispanic Studies Department


Japanese manga narratives (comic books) are currently among the most influential Asian cultural products in the world. They promote Japanese culture through the financial and critical success of their franchises and their global influence in other media industries such as animation (anime), live-action films, toys, and videogames. This presentation—part of the Carol Rifelj Faculty Lecture Series—focuses on how comic books from some of the countries in the Americas portrayed Japanese culture before and after the boom of Japanese manga distribution around the world. We will see how the visual and narrative representation of Japanese culture evolved from early 20th-century stories that were influenced by Orientalist literature and “yellow peril” tropes to more complex appropriations from artists of Japanese descent and non-Japanese artists that have been influenced by manga narratives. The talk will include samples from Mexico, USA, Brazil, and Puerto Rico originally published in Spanish, English, and Portuguese.

Dr. García’s research focuses on international Hispanic/Latinx genre cinema and comic books.

cover of issue one of the comic book Monica Adventures, by Mauricio de Sousa
Cover of the Brazilian comic book Monica Adventures, by Mauricio de Sousa

Free and open to the public. Read about Middlebury College’s COVID-19 guidelines.