Tilley to deliver Banned Books Week talk at Harper College

Carol Tilley
Carol Tilley, Associate Professor

Associate Professor Carol Tilley will participate in Banned Books Week with a talk at Harper College titled, “Comics, Classrooms, and Censorship.” Her talk is one of several events hosted by Harper College Library during the week of September 27 - October 3, when the American Library Association will hold their annual celebration of the freedom to read. She will speak on Wednesday, September 30, at 12:30 p.m.:

Comics and graphic novels are enjoying great popularity among readers and teachers at all levels today, but this hasn't always been true. This talk will feature stories of some of the pioneering educators and persistent readers as well as would-be censors in comics' history (and present).

"Comics have been in the headlines this past couple of years as students (and legislators) have challenged whether titles such as Alison Bechdel's Fun Home and Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis are appropriate texts for college courses. I look forward to highlighting these debates and sharing some of the history of how comics have played a role in higher education," Tilley said.

Tilley is a nationally known expert in comics readership and history and has worked with many of the comic-related archives and research collections in the U.S. Her research has focused on comics/youth engagement—historically and today—and the many factors that have influenced engagement, such as the role of librarians and educators. She has looked closely at the attitudes and practices of librarians, which may have impacted comics readership and certainly influenced access.

Tilley’s research has been published in several academic journals, including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 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. At GSLIS, she teaches courses in comics reader’s advisory, media literacy, and youth services librarianship.

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