Episode #128: Igniting Change through Global Conversations with Dr. Walter Greason
Dr. Walter Greason is a professor of history, chairing the department of history at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. His research has defined new areas of inquiry in history, education, urban planning, and economics. Most known for his work on the concept of Wakanda as it appeared in Marvel Studios’ film, Black Panther, Dr. Greason uses advanced technology to transform schools and communities around the world.
Your WHY: Core Value – People should be hungry for education
I am driven by a passion to ignite change.
I am an educator, a historian, an economist, and an urbanist all in one. For nearly 30 years, my unique interdisciplinary expertise and reach have connected millions of faculty, students, community leaders, and politicians to engage in global conversations about democracy, capitalism, and digital markets. These connections and conversations have sparked movements. They have initiated change. They have motivated people to take action. And I am continually encouraged by the progress we’ve made.
The Wakanda Syllabus
In 2003, Drexel University hosted a course on “Race and the Media.” This course was the first in the nation to teach students about Christopher Priest’s vision of the Marvel Comics character, Black Panther.
In 2007, this work expanded in conjunction with author and filmmaker, Reginald Hudlin, in defining the specifics of the character’s nation and culture. In 2016, following the release of the blockbuster film, Captain America: Winter Soldier, international interest in the Black Panther surged. The African American Intellectual History Society featured Walter’s column on “The Wakanda Syllabus” which brought two decades of artistic and intellectual work into a global discussion about black superheroes and science fiction.
Over the next two years, hundreds of scholars expanded this discussion in anticipation of Marvel’s Black Panther film. The global phenomenon was the definitive cinematic success of 2018, winning hundreds of major creative awards around the world. The first academic resource to explain the deep resonance of the moment was an edited collection compiled by noted scholars, Julian Chambliss and Dr. Walter Greason over the previous year. [2016: Introduction to the #WakandaSyllabus]
Researcher and Author
Dr. Walter Greason’s research focuses on the comparative, economic analysis of slavery, industrialization,