Michael Boyce Gillespie leads a roundtable with scholars Jonathan W. Gray, Rebecca A. Wanzo, and Kristen Warner to discuss issues of medium, genre, fandom, and African American history in the highly regarded HBO series Watchmen. Characterizing the HBO series as a disobedient adaptation that modifies, extends, and redirects the world making of its source material—the famed twelve-issue comic-book series of the same name, written by Alan Moore and drawn by Dave Gibbons (1986–87)—Gillespie et al. explore the ways in which Watchmen remediates American history, starting with the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 that serves as the historical and ideological trigger that sets the series in motion. In a wide-ranging conversation that encompasses subjects including fan fiction, adaptation, cultural mythology, and black superheroes, the authors argue for Watchmen's significance as some of the most consequential television of the century so far.
Thinking about Watchmen: with Jonathan W. Gray, Rebecca A. Wanzo, and Kristen J. Warner
Michael Boyce Gillespie is a film professor at The City College of New York and The Graduate Center, CUNY. His research and writing focuses on black visual and expressive culture, film theory, visual historiography, popular music, and contemporary art. He is the author of Film Blackness: American Cinema and the Idea of Black Film (Duke University Press, 2016) and co-editor (with Lisa Uddin) of Black One Shot, an art criticism series on ASAP/J. His recent work has appeared in Black Light: A Retrospective of International Black Cinema, Flash Art, Unwatchable, Film Quarterly, and Keywords in African American Studies.
Michael Boyce Gillespie; Thinking about Watchmen: with Jonathan W. Gray, Rebecca A. Wanzo, and Kristen J. Warner. Film Quarterly 1 June 2020; 73 (4): 50–60. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2020.73.4.50
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