Wakanda and Beyond: Black Creatives and Comic Art

November 17, 2022
4:15 pm - 5:45 pm

Please join us for a panel discussion inspired by the new film, “Wakanda Forever” moderated by Rebecca Wanzo, Chair and Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at WashU and author of The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belonging (NYU Press, 2020).


Jonathan W. Gray, Associate Professor English at the CUNY Graduate Center & John Jay College is the author of Civil Rights in the White Literary Imagination (University Press of Mississippi) and is currently working on the book project Illustrating the Race: Representing Blackness in American Comics. Prof. Gray contributed the essay “Race” to NYU’s Keywords for Comics Studies, co-edited the essay collection Disability in Comics and Graphic Novels for Palgrave McMillian and served as the founding editor of the Journal of Comics and Culture (Pace U. Press). Prof. Gray’s meditations on race and representation in popular culture have appeared in Film Quarterly, The New Republic, Entertainment Weekly, Medium, and Salon.

Clifford Thompson is the author and illustrator of the graphic novel Big Man and the Little Men, which will be published by Other Press on November 22. His other books include What It Is: Race, Family, and One Thinking Black Man’s Blues. His personal essays and reviews have appeared in Best American Essays 2018, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Times Literary Supplement, The Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. Thompson teaches creative nonfiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College and the Bennington Seminars. A painter, he is a member of New York’s Blue Mountain Gallery, which will host his first solo show in the winter of 2023.

Qiana Whitted is Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina. A graduate of Hampton University with a PhD from Yale University, her research and teaching focus on Black literary and cultural studies with an emphasis on American comics and graphic novels. She is the author of the Eisner Award-winning book, EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest and co-editor of the collection on Comics and the U.S. South. Along with a number of published articles that explore race, genre, and history in comics, she has written the introductory essay for the Black Panther volume of Marvel’s new Penguin Classics Collection. She is also the editor of Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society and chair of the International Comic Arts Forum.

Event and registration information

When: November 17, 2022 | 4:15-5:45pm

Where: Danforth University Center – Goldberg Formal Lounge

Sponsors and cosponsors

This event is a partnership between the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity, the Department of African and African-American Studies, and the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.