Tilley to speak on comics and medicine at Penn State, Loyola

Carol Tilley
Carol Tilley, Associate Professor

Associate Professor Carol Tilley will speak twice this summer on topics at the intersection of comics and medicine.

This Friday, May 6, she will deliver the 2016 Hershey Lecture in the History of Medicine at the Penn State College of Medicine. Her lecture is titled, “The Psychopathology of Comics Reading: The Troubled Legacy of Fredric Wertham’s Public Health Campaign.”

Abstract: Psychiatrist Fredric Wertham devoted much of his practice in the 1940s and 1950s to the diagnosis and treatment of young people identified as juvenile delinquents. Wertham found that reading comics was a pastime uniting virtually all of his young patients. This discovery of the comics industry led Wertham to advocate for limitations on the sale of comics to children. Tilley will explore Wertham’s manipulation of the evidence of comics reading.

She will speak again on Wertham’s questionable research practices when she addresses a class on narrative bioethics at Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine on June 22.

At GSLIS, Tilley teaches courses in comics reader’s advisory, media literacy, and youth services librarianship. She is a faculty affiliate in the Center for Children’s Books and Center for Writing Studies at Illinois. Tilley is a member of the 2016 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards judging panel, director of external relations for the Association for Library and Information Science Education, and second vice president of the Comics Studies Society.

Part of Tilley’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of young people, comics, and libraries, particularly in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. Her research has been published in 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 Wertham has been featured by The New York Times and other media outlets.

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