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Drawing a Dialogue, Episode 4: The Wertham Special


Drawing a Dialogue, Episode 4: The Wertham Special

Cathy G. Johnson

Artwork by e jackson.

Artwork by e jackson.

Drawing a Dialogue is a podcast discussing comics in historical + educational contexts by Cathy G. Johnson and e remus jackson.

Episode 4: Infamously known as the author of the 1954 book Seduction of the Innocent + blamed for the demise of the Golden Age of comics, German psychiatrist Fredric Wertham is more than a censorship scapegoat. Cathy + e discuss his career as a medical psychiatrist, advocate for African American mental healthcare, + talk about the biases + legitimacies behind this controversial figure.

Contact:, Twitter

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Episode Citation (chronologically as mentioned in podcast):

  • Wertham, F. (1954). Seduction of the innocent. New York: Rinehart.

  • Petersen, R. S. (2011). Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels: A History of Graphic Narratives. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

  • "90% of children" - Tilley, C. L. (2012). “Seducing the Innocent: Fredric Wertham and the Falsifications That Helped Condemn Comics.” Information & Culture, (4), 383-413. doi:10.7560/IC47401

  • Gabriel N. Mendes, Under the Strain of Color - Cornell University Press

  • Gabriel N. Mendes, interview - New Books Network

  • Bart Beaty, Fredric Wertham and the Critique of Mass Culture - University Press of Mississippi

  • "Reflections on “Emil Kraepelin: Icon and Reality”." American Journal of Psychiatry, 173(3), pp. 300–301

  • Lerner, R. M. (1986). Concepts and theories of human development. New York: Random House.

  • "Behaviorism," this was a definition from my professor at Brown University -Cathy G.

  • Scientific racism - Wikipedia

  • Nyberg, A. K. (1998). Seal of approval: the history of the comics code. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

  • Tilley PDF - Academia

  • Tof Eklund - ImageTexT

  • Anastasi, Anne. (1958). Heredity, environment, and the question “How?. Psychological review. 65. 197-208. 10.1037/h0044895.

  • García Coll, Cynthia & Lamberty, Gontran & Jenkins, Renee & Pipes McAdoo, Harriet & Crnic, Keith & Wasik, Barbara & Vazquez Garcia, Heidie. (1996). An Integrative Model for the Study of Developmental Competencies in Minority Children. Child development. 67. 1891-914. 10.2307/1131600. - PDF

  • Precious Stephens - gnovis

  • Killing Us Softly - Link

  • American Psychological Association (correction: in the podcast, we say "Psychology Today") - Albert Bandura, Violence in the Media