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
PhD, Duke University
BA, Miami University
research interests:
  • African American literature history and culture
  • Theories of affect
  • Popular culture
  • Critical race theory
  • Feminist theory
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    contact info:

    office hours:

    • Tuesday 1:30–3:30 pm
      Or By Appointment

    mailing address:

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

    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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    Hold That Thought Podcast

    When does victimization count?

    As the St. Louis community continues to grapple with the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, Rebecca Wanzo pauses to reflect on Michael Brown and the role of victimization in American culture and politics.