Join PSU's Comics Studies program for a talk with Professor Qiana Whitted.
In her talk, Prof. Qiana Whitted draws from her recent book on EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest to explore the 1950s publisher’s effort to distinguish between “entertaining” and “educational” reading practices that were mindful of the public’s anxieties over how comic books could influence young readers. Her discussion will consider the ways that EC’s writers and artists arranged the verbal and visual dynamics of the comics page to steer the potential impact of notorious crime and horror titles such “The Whipping” and “The Guilty.” Evaluating these creative choices raises important questions about the taboo combination of explicitness, incredulity, and reading pleasure that EC branded as “shock comics," engaging complex social messages amid the thrills and chills.
Qiana Whitted is professor of English and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina. A graduate of Hampton University with a PhD from Yale University, her research and teaching focus on Black literary and cultural studies, and American comics and graphic novels. She is the author of the Eisner Award-winning book, EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest and co-editor of the collection on Comics and the U.S. South. Many of her published essays explore race, genre, and identity in comics representations of historical figures such as Nat Turner, Stagger Lee, and Emmett Till. She is currently editing a collection of essays on blackness in early American comics. She is also the editor of Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society and chair of the International Comic Arts Forum.