Rebecca Wanzo

Washington University in St. Louis




Rebecca Wanzo is professor and chair of the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

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.

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 Literature, Camera Obscura, differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, Signs, Women and Performance, and numerous edited collections. She has also written essays for media outlets such as CNN, the LA Review of Books, and Huffington Post.

Find her publications at local bookstores.

Read some recent articles by Wanzo:

"The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belonging" / Free download of introduction

"African American acafandom and other strangers: New genealogies of fan studies" / Transformative Works and Cultures

"Removing 'blackface episodes' is easy. Actually confronting racism in media isn't" / CNN​