Nicholas Sammond

Innis College, IN-231E, 2 Sussex Avenue, Toronto, ON M5S 1J5


Centre for the Study of the United States


Nicholas Sammond studies the political economy and cultural history and of popular media. His most recent monograph is Birth of an Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation (Duke University Press, 2015), which explores the historical relationship between blackface minstrelsy and the origins of the American animation industry. This work includes a detailed online companion which features all of the cartoons and historical texts discussed in the book. His award-winning previous book, Babes in Tomorrowland: Walt Disney and the Making of the American Child, 1930-1960 (Duke, 2005) charted the circulation of concepts of childhood through popular child-rearing and the public relations and films of Walt Disney Productions. Professor Sammond is also the editor of the volume Steel Chair to the Head: the Pleasure and Pain of Professional Wrestling (Duke University Press, 2005). He has also created the Early Animation Wiki, a research tool developed in collaboration with the International Film Animation Society (ASIFA Hollywood), and an animation research station in the Innis College Library, which offers access to thousands of rare film shorts, original artwork, and biographical and bibliographic information on animators and animation studios. His next research project involves a detailed historical study of fluid abjection in Cold War comic books, comix, and animation.

Professor Sammond regularly teaches courses on film and media history, animation, media and cultural practice, comedy, political resistance and media, and media and childhood. At the graduate level, he teaches courses on cinema and culture, histories of cinematic media, media and racial formation, theories of viewing, and media theory.


Birth of An Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation (Duke University Press, 2015).

Babes in Tomorrowland: Walt Disney and the Making of the American Child, 1930-1960. (Duke University Press, 2005).

Books Edited

Abjection Incorporated: Mediating the Politics of Pleasure and Violence Nicholas Sammond and Margaret Hennefeld, eds. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2020).

Steel Chair to the Head: The Pleasure and Pain of Professional Wrestling (Duke University Press, 2005).

Articles in Academic Journals

“Meeting in the Archive: Commix and Collecting as Community.” Feminist Media Histories 4:3 (Summer 2018).

“Textual Object: The (Re)Making of a Graduate Course, in Three Installments.” Flow Journal 22.02-06 (November 2015, February 2016, April 2016).

“As the Crow Flies: the Intermediality of Moran and Mack.” American Humor Studies (Fall 2015).

“Touched by Le Roy: Teens, Tourette’s, and YouTube in the Twilight of Neoliberalism.” WSQ 43:1 (June 2015).

“The Writing on the Wall: Learning and Teaching Graffiti.” With Anna Creadick. Transformations 24:2 (Winter 2014).

“A Space Apart: Animation and the Spatial Politics of Conversion” Rob King, guest ed. Film History 23:3 (2011).

“Hidden, or Fear of a Black Planet.” Jump Cut 52 (Summer 2010).

“Picture Yourself: Lillian Gilbreth’s Industrial Cinema for the Home.” Camera Obscura 21:3 (December 2006).

“Manufacturing the American Child: Child-rearing and the Rise of Walt Disney.” Continuum 13:1 (April 1999).

Chapters in Books

“Comix.” Keywords for Comics Studies, Ramzi Fawaz and Darieck Scott, eds. (New York University Press, 2021).

“Sons of MAD: Harvey Kurtzman and the Rise of Underground Comix,” Seeing MAD: Essays on Mad Magazine’s Humor and Legacy from Cover to Fold-In, Judith Yaross Lee and John Bird, eds. (University of Missouri Press, 2020).

"Race, Resistance and Violence in Cartoons” (revised reprint). The Animation Studies Reader, Nichola Dobson, Annabelle Honess RoeAmy RatelleCaroline Ruddell, eds. (London: Bloomsbury, 2018).

"Gentlemen, Please Be Seated: Racial Masquerade and Sadomasochism in 1930's Animation." Stephen Johnson, ed. Burnt Cork: Traditionsand Legacies of Blackface Minstrelsy (University of Massachusetts Press, 2012).

“Walt Disney’s Dumbo: Governing Individualism.” In Julia Mickenberg and Lynn Vallone, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Children’s Literature(Oxford University Press, 2011).

"‘Who Dat Say Who Dat?’: Race and Humor in American Animation” in Daniel Goldmark and Charlie Keil, eds., Funny Pictures: Animation and Comedy in Studio-Era Hollywood (University of California Press, 2011).

“Introduction.” In Nicholas Sammond, ed. Steel Chair to the Head: Essays on Professional Wrestling. (Duke University Press, 2005).

“Squaring the Family Circle.” In Nicholas Sammond, ed. Steel Chair to the Head: the Pleasure and Pain of Professional Wrestling. (Duke University Press, 2005).

“ ‘What You Are ... I Wouldn’t Eat’: ethnicity, whiteness, and performing ‘the Jew’ in Hollywood’s Golden Age” (Primary author; Chandra Mukerji, co-author). In Daniel Bernardi, ed. Classic Whiteness/Classic Hollywood (University of Minnesota Press, 2001).


PhD, University of California San Diego
MPhil, University of California San Diego
BA, Wesleyan University