Steal This History: historiography, the Sixties and the comic

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A comic book, a graphic research paper, an experiment in image and text – “Steal This History” explores the 1960s (or “Sixties”) as it has appeared in various historical and commemorative discourses. For more than forty years, the Sixties has been discussed and debated in the US public sphere. Its political and cultural legacy continues to excite conflict and disagreement. The following pages provide a multi-perspective account of the Sixties that combines allusions to historical events with personal reflection, poetic imagery, symbol and metaphor. Influenced by the ideas of Hayden White, Alun Munslow, Robert A. Rosenstone and others, we became fascinated by the potential of the image as a conduit for innovative, challenging, self-conscious histories. Furthermore, scholars of the graphic novel have noted the complex ways in which they can engage with historical discourse (see, for example, the special edition of Rethinking History 6:3 (2002), devoted to the subject). “Steal This History” builds on these ideas and explores ways of developing a graphic philosophy of history. There is no attempt, here, to provide a comprehensive account of the Sixties, nor to cite every key event, person or movement. Rather, what follows is a partial collection of ideas. We hope readers will enjoy the piece, and that it might spark a dialogue on future directions for graphic historiography.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-528
Number of pages23
JournalRethinking History
Issue number4
Early online date25 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • comics
  • the Sixties
  • historiography
  • history
  • memory


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