Humor with Edge: Exploring Political Cartoons

by  HistoryConnects from the Virginia Museum of History & Culture

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For more than two centuries, whenever there has been a debate in the United States, political cartoons have taken part, and in some cases, pushed the debate to its limits. 

Political cartoons began as a street-level phenomenon. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, they were often posted on walls or passed from person to person, as well as being published in newspapers. By the end of the nineteenth century, they were an important part of the growing popularity of newspapers and magazines, and the intense competition for readership made provocative cartoons a valuable selling point. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, political cartoons appear in a wide range of online publications and can still stir up controversy. 

Analyzing a political cartoon can lead to a deeper understanding of the issues addressed by the cartoon, as well as the historical context from which the issues arose. However, it can also raise interesting questions about the point of view of the cartoonist and shed light on the methods different cartoonists use to persuade their audience.

This program is part of the #DiscoverDL festival November 6=10, 2017 in celebration of Distance Learning Week! This event is proudly supported by the Pinnacle Education Collaborative. Find more events by searching #DiscoverDL on the CILC website! 
**This program can only be requested from November 6-10, 2017 for the discounted price**

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About This Program


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Point to Point: $125.00
Point to Point Premium: $125.00


60 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Adult Learners teachers, university, college Public Library: Library Staff Retirement Communities

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Social Studies/History, Fine Arts, Language Arts/English, Literacy, Reading

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)
Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Blue Jeans, etc...)

Booking Information

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For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We will not charge for programs canceled due to nature i.e. snow days. The full fee will be charged to sites which cancel with less than 48 hours notice.

About This Provider

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HistoryConnects from the Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Richmond, VA
United States

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture is owned and operated by the Virginia Historical Society—a private, non-profit organization. The historical society is the oldest cultural organization in Virginia, and one of the oldest and most distinguished history organizations in the nation. For use in its state history museum and its renowned research library, the historical society cares for a collection of nearly nine million items representing the ever-evolving story of Virginia.

HistoryConnects is an outreach education initiative by the Virginia Museum of History and Culture utilizing video and web conferencing to reach learners of all ages across the state of Virginia and around the world! HistoryConnects is made possible in part by the Hugh V. White, Jr., Outreach Education Fund.

Hailey Fenner

Program Details


Please join Chris Van Tassell from the Virginia Historical Society as he introduces a variety of cartoons grouped around several major events in U.S. history alongside other primary sources to provide context.


Participants will:
-gain exposure primary sources in the form of political cartoons
-understand the historical context surrounding individual cartoons
-learn ways to incorporate these sources into the curriculum* (*If participants are educators)

Standards Alignment

National Standards

The material will address state and national standards for grades 9-12. The content will be appropriate for an adult audience and educators seeking professional development.

State Standards

The material will address state and national standards for grades 9-12. The content will be appropriate for an adult audience and educators seeking professional development.