The Thesis & its Form

I’m trying to finish a Master’s Thesis in American Studies this semester. The subject is word balloons, or to be more accurate, speech balloons. I’m writing about changes in design and usage in the speech balloon in 1890s cartoons, and their connection with ideas about sound, voice ownership, and populism. A second subject concerns how this blend of meanings affects discourse surrounding immigration in the urban U.S. I’m using R.F. Outcault’s “The Yellow Kid & his New Phonograph” as my main example.

I am currently settling on eight chapters of about 8-10 pages each. The idea is to treat the subject of each chapter in full, with each chapter building on the last.

Should look something like this:

1. The Newspaper

2. The caption vs. the balloon

3. Balloons and Bubbles

4. The Phonograph

5. The Parrot

6. Theoretical Interlude

7. The Chinese

8. The Public Scare

I’ll go into these individual chapters at a later time.

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