In his book Seduction of the Innocent, published 60 years ago, psychiatrist Fredric Wertham claimed that comic books were a leading cause of juvenile delinquency. Forever cast as a villain in the eyes of comic fandom, Wertham is, at worst, represented as an enemy of free speech and, at best, a misguided moral crusader. But is either characterization correct? Was Wertham right, wrong, or both? Do his mid-century hypotheses about media violence have any relevance today? And why are we still talking about him? Author Bradford W. Wright (Comic Book Nation) will offer an historical perspective of Wertham. Library and information science professor Carol Tilley (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) will explore and critique Dr. Wertham's research methodology, while psychiatrists Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D. and Praveen R. Kambam, M.D. (Broadcast Thought) will discuss Wertham' s views on juvenile delinquency within the context of current media violence research. Professor Robert A. Emmons, Jr., director of the forthcoming documentary film Diagram for Delinquents, will share his insights in his effort to create a more complete picture of Wertham. Emmons will also discuss the zeitgeist of America during the crusade against comics as one of the first media backlashes in American history. Attorney Jeff Trexler (The Beat, The Comics Journal) moderates.
Friday July 25, 2014 8:00pm - 9:00pm
Attendance numbers do not account for private attendees. Get there early!