MAUS: A Conversation with WVU Professors and Alumna…

It was truly a privilege to be a part of yesterday’s panel discussing MAUS, and the recent challenges of books that speak openly and honestly about first hand experiences with hate and violence.

During this panel, I was able to talk about a topic that I often speak about when discussing the history of comics in the US. The myth that reading comics led to juvenile delinquency that was solidified in the 1950’s with the publication of “The Seduction of the Innocent” by Dr. Fredrick Wertham, the televised Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, and subsequent bans on selling comics and public comic book burnings. This damaged the perception of comics in the US for decades. Comics are a great way to promote literacy! Reading comics IS READING! Reading comics contributes to the development of both verbal and visual literacy. Comics also offer a chance to improve a student’s observation skills. Comics can also facilitate a better understanding of complex required texts, and reading comics can instill confidence in readers. So in the end, READ MORE COMICS!

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