Rebecca Wanzo on Visibility and African American Comics
What role have Black cartoonists played in the history of superheroes, weekend newspaper funnies, and graphic biographies? How have they harnessed the visual power of the comic form to speak back to racist stereotypes and claim space for themselves and their communities?
This episode's guest, Rebecca Wanzo, argues that Black cartoonists in both mainstream and underground comics have tackled these questions since the very beginning of the medium. She also suggests that they’ve done so by reworking some of the most troubling visual tropes shaping Black representation in the United States.
In episode 106 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews gender studies professor Rebecca Wanzo about how and why Black cartoonists have turned to caricature to resist racist stereotypes, the many ways progressive movements have used visual culture to create social change, how faculty and staff can meet the challenges of doing interdisciplinary work on university campuses, and why teaching students how to see the world differently is how Rebecca imagines otherwise.
Transcript and show notes: https://ideasonfire.net/106-rebecca-wanzo