Title

Joanna Cargill and Amanda Waller: A Critical Black Feminist Analysis

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Event Website

https://source2022.sched.com/

Start Date

19-5-2022

End Date

19-5-2022

Keywords

comics, library programming, Black feminism, diversity

Abstract

This project analyzes two Black female comic book characters, Amanda Waller and Joanna Cargill, from Marvel and DC Comics from 1986-2021. With the growing success of comic books, this project aims to answer these questions: can Black female characters be used in library initiatives or library programming to attract new readers? Or are the renderings of Black female characters filled with too many stereotypes and racist tropes to be used positively in library initiatives or library programming? Utilizing a Black feminist lens, I analyze articles and podcasts from the creators of Amanda Waller and Joanna Cargill in conjunction with an analysis of the visual and narrative representation of these two characters in Marvel and DC's canon. Numerous studies have shown that many Black female comic book characters are filled with stereotypes and racist tropes. Additionally, several studies have shown that using comic books to inspire new readers increases reader motivation. However, no study has been done at the nexus of using Black female comic book characters to attract new readers and using complex and diverse Black female comic book renderings in library programming. After analyzing both Amanda Waller and Joanna Cargill’s canon, I determined that a majority of the visual and narrative representations were full of racist tropes and stereotypes. Therefore, I suggest that these characters cannot be used to attract new readers and instead suggest more research on how to develop library programming based on Black female characters in a way that doesn’t uphold racist stereotypes and tropes.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Natashia Lindsey, Rebecca Lubas

Department/Program

Information Technology and Administrative Management; Library & Information Science; Africana and Black Studies

Additional Mentoring Department

Africana and Black Studies

Additional Mentoring Department

Library & Information Science

Additional Mentoring Department

McNair Scholars Program

Streaming Media

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May 19th, 12:00 AM May 19th, 12:00 AM

Joanna Cargill and Amanda Waller: A Critical Black Feminist Analysis

This project analyzes two Black female comic book characters, Amanda Waller and Joanna Cargill, from Marvel and DC Comics from 1986-2021. With the growing success of comic books, this project aims to answer these questions: can Black female characters be used in library initiatives or library programming to attract new readers? Or are the renderings of Black female characters filled with too many stereotypes and racist tropes to be used positively in library initiatives or library programming? Utilizing a Black feminist lens, I analyze articles and podcasts from the creators of Amanda Waller and Joanna Cargill in conjunction with an analysis of the visual and narrative representation of these two characters in Marvel and DC's canon. Numerous studies have shown that many Black female comic book characters are filled with stereotypes and racist tropes. Additionally, several studies have shown that using comic books to inspire new readers increases reader motivation. However, no study has been done at the nexus of using Black female comic book characters to attract new readers and using complex and diverse Black female comic book renderings in library programming. After analyzing both Amanda Waller and Joanna Cargill’s canon, I determined that a majority of the visual and narrative representations were full of racist tropes and stereotypes. Therefore, I suggest that these characters cannot be used to attract new readers and instead suggest more research on how to develop library programming based on Black female characters in a way that doesn’t uphold racist stereotypes and tropes.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2022/CEPS/50