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September 26, 2008
Vol. 50 No. 4

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Lecturer to highlight US as seen through cartoons

Joe Szabo, an internationally-known expert on political cartoons, will be appearing at Susquehanna on Monday, Sept. 29 in the Shearer Dining Rooms at 7 p.m.

According to the Department of Political Science Web site, Szabo's lecture, which is being presented by the political science department, "will present a multimedia presentation on 'America's Image Abroad Through Political Cartoons,' explaining how foreign countries portray the United States through political cartoons."

Szabo is a well-known cartoonist who has been featured in publications around the world and has been the recipient of numerous international awards.

In the presentation, he will not be using his own cartoons, but instead cartoons found around the world depicting American culture and society.

James Blessing, professor of political science, said in past years the political science department has brought speakers in to discuss topics such as elections and the Middle East. This year they said they decided to do something different.

"I had heard of Joe Szabo who has given presentations at other colleges, and feedback I had gotten from colleagues at other colleges has been good," Blessing said.

The political science department decided to bring Szabo to speak at Susquehanna to give a different approach to politics: what does the rest of the world think of the U.S. as shown in their editorial cartoons?

Blessing said the political cartoons used in Szabo's lecture show "what kind of image the rest of the world is portraying to its citizens about the United States."

Blessing said the cartoons aren't strictly political. "They're political in the sense that they're foreign images of us but its images are not just of our political system, [they're] images of our culture and of American society."

Andrea Lopez, associate professor of political science, said she thinks it will be interesting to see how the U.S. is viewed through political cartoons.

"I think it's useful to know how other countries see us and we are a super power," Lopez said.

"We try to reach around the world and have an effect in everything from economics to human rights to military and security policy in the war on terror, so knowing what other countries' opinions are of us can only help is in shaping our own message better," she added.

Blessing said the topic will be of interest to students "because whether we like it or not, we are in an interdependent world and what the rest of the world thinks about us impacts [the U.S.]."


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