Assistant Professor Carol Tilley will discuss her research into comics and comics history at two upcoming events in April.
She will deliver an invited talk titled, "When Comics Almost Died: Readers, Censors, and Innovation," at Holy Cross College’s Arts Day on April 11. Arts Day is an annual event held in celebration of the spirit of art and creativity. Tilley will be one of two speakers at the event. Other activities for the day include a student art exhibit and reception.
On April 25 Tilley will participate in the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), a convention that brings together the best of pop culture, including comics, graphic novels, and manga, as well as movies, TV, video games, and more. She will deliver a talk titled, "Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent and the Comics Code Authority at 60," and participate in a panel discussion on the topic, "Comics and the Academy: The Role of Graphic Novels in Higher Education.”
The topic of Frederic Wertham, a psychiatrist and anti-comics critic whose 1954 book Seduction of the Innocent inspired federal hearings that decimated the comic book industry, is particularly timely, as April marks the anniversary of the book's publication. "I'm especially happy to have a chance to talk about comics and censorship at Holy Cross and C2E2 as it's the sixtieth anniversary—to the month—of both the publication of Wertham's book and the opening days of the Senate's hearings on comics books and juvenile delinquency," Tilley said. "Despite the passage of time, these events are still vividly part of comics readers and creators consciences."
At GSLIS, Tilley teaches courses in comics’ reader’s advisory, media literacy, and youth services librarianship. Part of her scholarship focuses on the intersection of young people, comics, and libraries, particularly in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. Additional research interests include history of youth services librarianship, children's print culture, information inquiry and instruction in school libraries, information seeking and use, and media literacy. Tilley’s research has been published in journals including the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), Information & Culture: A Journal of History, and Children’s Literature in Education. Her research on anti-comics advocate Fredric Wertham has been featured in the New York Times and other media outlets.