Rebecca Wanzo

Rebecca Wanzo

Chair and Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
African and African-American Studies, Courtesy Affiliation
American Culture Studies, Courtesy Affiliation
English, Courtesy Affiliation
Film and Media Studies, Courtesy Affiliation
PhD, Duke University
BA, Miami University
research interests:
  • African American literature history and culture
  • Theories of affect
  • Popular culture
  • Critical race theory
  • Feminist theory

contact info:

office hours:

  • Mondays 12-1 pm
    Tuesdays 2:30-3:30 pm
    Or By Appointment

mailing address:

  • Washington University
    MSC 1078-0137-02
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

Rebecca Wanzo is a professor and chair of the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

She is the author of The Suffering Will Not Be Televised: African American Women and Sentimental Political Storytelling (SUNY Press, 2009), which uses African American Women as a case study in exploring the kinds of storytelling conventions of people must adhere to for their suffering to be legible to various institutions in the United States. Her most recent book, The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belonging (NYU Press, 2020) examines how Black cartoonists have used racialized caricatures to criticize constructions of ideal citizenship, as well as the alienation of African Americans from such imaginaries. It was the recipient of the Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Prize from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the Charles Hatfield Book Prize from the Comics Studies Society, and the Best Scholarly/Academic Work from the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.


Her research interests include African American literature and culture, critical race theory, fan studies, feminist theory, the history of popular fiction in the United States, cultural studies, theories of affect, and graphic storytelling. She has published in venues such as American LiteratureCamera Obscuradifferences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural StudiesSignsWomen and Performance, and numerous edited collections. She has also written essays for media outlets such as CNN, the LA Review of Books, Huffington Post, The Conversation, and the comic book Bitch Planet


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The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belonging

The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belonging