Seventy-five years ago, the comic book super heroine Wonder Woman made her first appearance. To commemorate the anniversary, Kent State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Ohio Humanities Council and the Cleveland Public Library have partnered to organize a symposium at the Cleveland Public Library that celebrates “the historical trends that have changed the world of comics, American popular culture and feminism.”
Kent State English professor Vera Camden organized the symposium with graduate assistant Valentino Zullo.
“Our celebration of Wonder Woman’s anniversary pays respect to ‘herstory’ while recognizing her perpetual relevance to our present day and beyond,” Camden says in a press release. “We hope this symposium engages several humanities’ disciplines to cultivate participants’ capacity to understand, critique and celebrate not only popular culture and imagination, but also democracy, empathy and the complexity of the world we live in.”
Some of the speakers include: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, the creative team of Harley Quinn
and Harley Quinn and Power Girl
; Phil Jimenez, the writer/artist of Wonder Woman
; Joan Ormrod and David Huxley, editors of the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
and of Superheroes and Identities
; and Cameron Stewart, writer/artist of Batgirl
, Motor Crush
and artist of Batman and Robin
and Fight Club 2.
Laura Siegel, daughter of Jerry Siegel, co-creator of Superman and a former correspondent for CNN who has won more than 100 awards will also speak.
“By hosting the event at the Cleveland Public Library, we hope to situate this program as one that fulfills the values of Kent State University to cultivate critical thinking and reading skills of individuals in the community,” Camden says. “This event embraces the Cleveland Public Library in its role as ‘The People’s University.’ The focus will not only be on celebrating the rich history of comics but also educating the public – the same one from which Superman emerged in the Cleveland of 1938.”
The symposium kicks off on Sept. 22 and runs through Sept. 24. To see the full schedule, read the speaker bios and register for the symposium, visit kent.edu/wonderwoman