Many of us grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons. They introduced themes that can still be applied in our lives today. This concept is the primary focus of one of the many events taking place during Calumet College of St. Joseph’s (CCSJ) 7th annual Humanities Festival.
Professor Niki Avina will host “Saturday Morning Cartoons” at 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, in Room 200.
The theme of the 2019 Humanities Festival is the “underdog.”
“From a very young age, we all love an underdog! That’s what makes cartoons such a vital part of our society– they encourage children (and adults) to try harder when the going gets tough, to work to fight evil, and to help those in need,” explained Avina.
Since the radio era in the 1930s and 40s, Saturday morning has been prime time for children’s programming. In 1955, CBS launched what was arguably the first Saturday morning cartoon, Mighty Mouse Playhouse. The success of this venture led to an explosion of Saturday morning cartoons that ran in the 8:00 a.m. to noon time slot.
Advertisers quickly saw an opportunity and began marketing products like toys and breakfast cereal to the young and impressionable viewers on Saturday mornings. Between the 1960s and the 1990s, Saturday morning cartoons boomed, and the cartoon programs became increasingly enmeshed with product-related tie ins.
This convergence seemed to reach its peak in the 1980s when products, such as the puzzle game the Rubik’s Cube and the video game Pac-Man, were repackaged as television shows. By the end of the 1990s, however, the rise of home video, daily syndicated cartoons, and on-demand viewing, put an end to traditional Saturday morning cartoons.
This event will highlight cartoons from the 1940s to the 1970s, including selections from Mighty Mouse and Underdog. They’ll consider what these cartoons say about the underdog and the role of the underdog in our narratives and our society.
“We’ll take a peek at some cartoons beyond the “Saturday Morning” era, including The Simpsons and some Pixar favorites,” added Avina.
Students will also have small group discussions about cartoons that influenced them and how these cartoons reflect their view of society.
To add to the “Saturday morning experience,” Avina says students will “snack on breakfast cereal” as they watch cartoon clips and engage in conversation about how underdogs benefit society.
Avina added that the Humanities Festival is important to CCSJ because “it shows our students how their liberal arts education applies to the real world. Students see how professors from all departments use this knowledge in their professional and personal endeavors.”
To learn more about this event contact Professor Avina at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can view the complete schedule of events on the Humanities Festival website
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