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Department of English Language and Literature


Qiana J Whitted

Title: Professor
Department: English Language and Literature
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: HUM 518
Resources: English Language and Literature
African American Studies Program


Ph.D., Yale University, 2003
M.A., Yale University, 1999
B.A., Hampton University, 1996

Areas of Specialization

20th-Century African-American Literature and Culture
American Comics and Graphic Novels
Southern Literature

Recently Taught Courses

    African American Literature
    Introduction to Comics Studies
    Race, Gender, and Graphic Novels
    Slavery, Literature, and Culture
    Young Adult Literature
    Graphic Memoir
    Invisible Man and American Culture

Professional Accolades

   • USC Russell Research Award in the Humanities & Social Sciences, 2022
   • Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best Academic/Scholarly Work, 2020
   • Finalist, USC Farrar Award in Media & Civil Rights History, 2019
   • USC Department of English Research Professorship, 2016
   • USC English Department Teaching Award, 2012
   • Provost Humanities Grant, University of South Carolina, 2012
   • USC Institute for African American Studies Research Grant, 2010
   • NAACP Andrew Billingsley Faculty Award, University of South Carolina, 2004

Service to the Profession

    Editor, Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society
Series Co-Editor, “Cultures of Resistance,” University of South Carolina Press
    Chair, International Comic Arts Forum

Selected Publications 

   • Desegregating Comics: Debating Blackness in the Golden Age of American Comics, Rutgers University Press, 2023
 • EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest. Rutgers University Press, 2019.
Comics and the U.S. South. Co-edited with Brannon Costello. University Press of Mississippi, 2012.
   • "God of Justice?” The Problem of Evil in 20th Century Black Literature. University of Virginia Press, 2009.

   • All-Negro Comics and Counter-Histories of Race in the Golden Age,” in Desegregating Comics: Debating Blackness in the Golden Age of American Comics, Rutgers University Press, 2023
   • Introduction to Black Panther (Penguin Classics Marvel Collection), Don McGregor, Rich Buckler, Billy Graham, et. al., Penguin Classics, 2022
 • “Blues Fallin’ Down Like Hail: Reading ‘The Sky is Gray’ as a Blues Narrative,” in MLA Series: Approaches to Teaching Gaines’ The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and Other Works. Ed. John Lowe and Herman Beavers, 2019.
   • “Comics and Emmett Till,” in Picturing Childhood: Youth in Transnational Comics. Eds. Mark Heimermann and Brittany Tullis. University of Texas Press, 2017.
   • “The Blues Tragicomic: Constructing the Black Folk Subject in McCulloch and Hendrix’s Stagger Lee,” in The Blacker The Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art. Eds. Francis Gateward and John Jennings. Rutgers University Press, 2015.
   • “Black Culture, Speculative Fiction, and the Past as Text in Jeremy Love’s Bayou,” in Essays on Teaching With Graphic Narratives. Ed. Matthew L. Miller. McFarland Press, 2015.
   • “Of Slaves and Other Swamp Things: Black Southern History as Comic Book Horror,” Comics and the U.S. South. Eds. Qiana Whitted and Brannon Costello. University Press of Mississippi, 2012.

“‘And the Negro thinks in hieroglyphics’: Comics, Visual Metonymy, and the Spectacle of Blackness,” Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 5.1 (March 2014): 1-22.
   • “In My Flesh Shall I See God: Ritual Violence, Racial Redemption, and Countee Cullen’s ‘The Black Christ’,” African American Review, 38.3 (2004): 379-393.
   • “Using My Grandmother’s Life as a Model: Richard Wright and the Gendered Politics of Religious Representation,” Southern Literary Journal, 36.2 (2004): 13-30.

   • “The Battle Scars of Angola Janga,” ASAP/J, Black One-Shot Series, 2020.
   • “To Flip and Move and Shine: Ebony Flowers’ Hot Comb,” The Comics Journal, Oct. 22, 2019.
   • “Slavery Was No Opera: Alyssa Cole’s An Extraordinary Union,” Public Books, 2017.
   • Review of Projections: Comics and the History of Twenty-First-Century-Storytelling by Jared Gardner, Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History, 42.2 (Spring 2013): 34-40.
   • Review of Transforming Scriptures: African American Women Writers and the Bible by Katherine Clay Bassard, Religion & Literature, 43.1 (Spring 2011): 207-209.
   • Review of Middle Passage in Charles Johnson: Embracing the World. Ed. Nibir K. Ghosh and E. Ethelbert Miller. New Delhi: Authorspress. 2008
   • Review of Religious Idiom and the African American Novel, 1952-1998 by Tuire Valkeakari, Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts & Letters (31:3) Summer 2008: 961-966.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.