Technology and Learning in the Comic strip 'Calvin and Hobbes'

  • Kamna Singh Panjab University Chandigarh


Calvin and Hobbes is a serialized comic strip by American author Bill Watterson, initially published in newspapers from 1985-1995. In context of the recent surge of interest in the more unconventional fields of literary and cultural studies, it is a valuable postmodern text with respect to both its form and content. It is of special interest in its depiction of the impact of technology on the mind of the child Calvin, a five year-old who is fascinated by science and natural history, who nevertheless fails to take any interest in the conventional education imparted to him at school. The impact of technology on his mind is shown as largely negative with it proving to be a medium of passively disseminating ‘factoids’, misinformation and child-inappropriate content that encourages undesirable short-cuts to learning. This analysis serves to partially explain why this cartoon has been able to become a valuable mirror to and sculptor of life and learning in contemporary society, popular postmodern literary culture and ideology.
Key words: Technology in literature, Postmodernism, Comic strip, Cultural studies, American popular literature.


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Author Biography

Kamna Singh, Panjab University Chandigarh

Dr Kamna Singh teaches at the Department of English and Cultural Studies, Punjab University, Chandigarh.


1. Watterson, Bill. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel, 2005. Print.
Secondary sources
2. Edmundson, Mark. “On The Uses of a Liberal Education”. Crafting Cultural Rhetorics: Readings for University Writers. Ed. April Lidinsky, Benjamin L. Fischer, Connie Snyder Mick, Jon Readey, Marion C. Rohrleitner, Scott T. Smith, and John Traver. Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2004. Print.
3. Graff, Gerald. Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of The Mind.
4. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2003. Print.
How to Cite
SINGH, Kamna. Technology and Learning in the Comic strip 'Calvin and Hobbes'. Contemporary Literary Review India, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 4, p. 62-72, nov. 2017. ISSN 2394-6075. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 26 may 2018.
Research Papers