The U of I News Bureau recently interviewed Carol Tilley, GSLIS assistant professor, about her research into the personal archives of psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, an anti-comics critic whose 1954 book Seduction of the Innocent inspired federal hearings that decimated the comic book industry.
Tilley's research is based on a review of Wertham’s personal archives, which were made available to researchers in 2010. During her review, she found numerous inconsistencies between the case notes of children treated by Wertham and the content in his book:
“From a contemporary standpoint, ‘Seduction’ is horribly written because it’s not documented,” she said. “There are no citations, no bibliography. He quotes a lot of people, refers to lots of things, but there’s no really good way of knowing what his basis is for any of this.”
“Lots of people have suspected for years that...