America's Role and Image in the World (Part 1)

Joe Szabo, author, publisher and lecturer

Uncle Sam Lampooned

Monday, March 16, 2009
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium – 7:00 p.m.

How America is perceived around the world through cartoons and illustrations by world-famous artists and cartoonists and through interviews conducted in over sixty countries.

Co-sponsored by the Office of Global Education and the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education.

Topical Background
The use of cartoons in political satire is quite common. In the United States, political cartoons can be traced to the revolutionary period when Ben Franklin’s famous cartoon “Join or Die” was published in the Pennsylvania Gazette.

Criticism of the United States is often manifested in cartoons published on web sites and in newspapers. Some of these cartoons depict the United States as a menace or bully, suggesting a negative world-wide view of the United States. A BBC World Service Poll taken in 2007 indicated that only 35% of people around the world perceive U.S. influence as positive.

For example, in one cartoon image on the Witty World web site, cartoonist Tony Auth depicts the role the United States plays in international politics. In the image, an American writes on the wall of the International Criminal Court that “all animals were created equal but some animals are more equal than others.” The cartoon insinuates that the United States believes it has an elevated status compared to the rest of the world.

About the Speaker
Joe Szabo has launched a variety of print and electronic publications, mostly dedicated, but not limited, to the fine and diverse representation of cartoon art. A former editor, art director, and cartoonist with reputable European and U.S. national newspapers and magazines, Mr. Szabo was the organizer and chairman of an international cartoon festival that drew professionals to Budapest, Hungary, from over thirty countries.

Among Szabo’s cherished works is “The Finest International Political Cartoons of our Time” series that showcases socio-political cartoons from nearly 60 countries by many world-renowned cartoonists, including fourteen recipients of the Pulitzer Prize. His most widely recognizable publication, WittyWorld International Cartoon Magazine, launched in 1987, reached 103 countries for over a decade. Szabo is the recipient of twelve international awards, including an International Press Prize from Belgium and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Mexico.