Censorship, the Comic Book, and "Seduction of the Innocent" at 70: A Roundtable Discussion

Margaret Galvan, Carol Tilley, and Qiana Whitted

Library of Congress

Thursday, June 6, 2024 12:00 pm EDT

Online via Zoom

Online via Zoom, Register here.
In 1954, psychiatrist Fredric Wertham published Seduction of the Innocent: The Influence of Comic Books on Today’s Youth, a book that cemented his role as America’s most prominent critic of comic books. Writing amid a moral panic that Wertham himself helped create, Seduction of the Innocent almost immediately helped spur the formation of the Comics Code Authority, which dramatically reshaped the nation’s comic book industry.
Staff of the Library of Congress Manuscript and Serial & Government Publications divisions will host a roundtable discussion with three comic studies scholars who will make brief presentations on current research, and discuss Wertham’s anti-comics legacy and its afterlives in more recent clashes over representations of race and sexuality in comics and graphic novels.
Panelists will include:

  • Margaret Galvan, Assistant Professor of visual rhetoric, Department of English, University of Florida
  • Carol Tilley, Associate Professor, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Qiana J. Whitted, Professor of English and African American Studies, University of South Carolina

Join Professors Galvan, Tilley, and Whitted to reflect on race, gender, and representation, visual culture and archives, and Wertham's anti-comics crusade seven decades on.
Please request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or ada@loc.gov.