Archetypes of Change: The Evolving Comic Book and Its Heroes

Haverford College, Magill Library
February 6–September 7, 2015

This student-curated exhibit, sponsored by the Haverford College Libraries, explores stylistic and narrative changes in comic books from the 1930s to today. Employing Northrop Frye's theories of myth and genre, the exhibit uses Magill Library's student-curated comic-book collection to trace, in particular, the evolution of comic-book heroes from the early appearances of classic superheroes like Superman and Wonder Woman to more recent protagonists who reflect the diversity and complexity of contemporary society.

Click here to view the exhibit pamphlet

Charlie Espinosa ‘15, Curator

Charlie is an anthropology major and environmental studies minor from Charlottesville, Virginia. In his academic work, he has focused on modes of popular culture, writing his senior thesis on digital and linguistic phenomena surrounding contemporary hip hop music. He loves to hike, explore, and read. Charlie spent the summer of 2014 in Magill Library’s comic book collection researching for and designing this exhibit.

Shahzeen Nasim ‘16, Co-curator

Shahzeen was born in Pakistan and grew up in California. She is a senior English major, writing her thesis on autobiographical performance in James Baldwin’s No Name in the Street. She hopes to one day be fluent in Arabic and Persian. Shahzeen oversaw the design and production of the interactive components of the exhibit.

Nate Rehm-Daly ‘16, Co-curator

Nate is a junior from New York City majoring in fine arts and classical studies. He is interested in digital media and design and is a big comics fan. Nate took primary responsibility for the exhibit website and assisted with other interactive components of it.


Jeremiah Mercurio, Research and Instruction Librarian, Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing

Theresa Tensuan, Dean of Multicultural Affairs, Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing

Other contributors

Laurie Allen, Coordinator for Digital Scholarship

Bruce Bumbarger, Library Conservator

Dan Burger-Lenehan, Senior Administrative Assistant

Francesca Felder ‘17

Caroline Fleet ‘16

Sarah Horowitz, Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts/Head of Special Collections

Whitney Mueller ‘15

Terry Snyder, Librarian of the College

Avery Weisel ‘15

Mike Zarafonetis, Digital Scholarship Librarian