Call for Papers, Sept 30 Deadline: “Comedy and Comics: Parody, Satire, and Humor in Superhero Narratives” (Northeast MLA, Toronto, April 30, to May 3, 2015)

Shameless plug: I’m co-organizing a panel.

The Northeast Modern Language Association will host its 46th annual conference for April and May 2015 in Toronto. NeMLA continues to attract scholars from a wide range of specializations and is a productive community for first-time presenters, graduate students, and senior professors.

I have been fortunate to have a session accepted for the 2015 meeting in Toronto, which will focus on comedy, parody, and satire in comics and the larger superhero genre. I am indebted to Dr. Rafael Ponce-Cordero, as this session develops from ideas generated at his session, “Can the Subaltern Be a Superhero? The Politics of Heroic Alterity,” at the April 2014 meeting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, of NeMLA. I have worked closely with Dr. Ponce-Cordero on the following CFP, and we will be working together on organizing this session. Thanks also to the organizers at NeMLA, especially in the Cultural and Media Studies area.

I have included the CFP abstract below as well as the longer description. NeMLA has created a new user-based system for submitting abstracts to all sessions directly online at NeMLA.org/convention/2015/cfp.html. At this address, please create a user account to submit your abstract (no more than 300 words) to Session #15447, and please consider some of the other 350 sessions hosted in Toronto this year, comprising paper panels, roundtables, and creative sessions. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2014.

If you are unable to submit your abstract through the web site, please send me an email at derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com, and I’ll be happy to assist you with you submission. Please also email websupport@nema.org regarding additional questions about the user-based system.

Now I’m off to watch reruns of The Tick.

ABSTRACT:

Stan Lee bristles at calling them “comic books,” lest readers think they are only “funny books.” This panel identifies how humor operates in works centered around superheroes—as parody, satire, and comedy. Potential topics include comedic twists on the superhero archetype; “campy” TV and film adaptations of “serious” characters; webcomics and humorous children’s books; teaching satire through comics; and cross-cultural appropriation of the superhero motif.

Submit abstracts (no more than 300 words) to Session ID#15447 at NeMLA.org/convention/2015/cfp.html. Visitors to this web site then may sign up for a free account to submit abstract or at NeMLA.org/users/?operation=register. For any questions about submitting electronically, please email websupport@nema.org or derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com.

DESCRIPTION:

This session welcomes submissions on a range of topics.  This session may draw together studies of comics and the superhero motif as captured in works published by mainstream and independent outlets, including the works of Mark Millar, Frank Miller, and Alan Moore, and in works including El Chapulín Colorado, Dr. Horrible, Robocop, El Santos, The Tick, and Tiger and Bunny.  This session also can include presentations focused around children’s literature, based on how often texts directed at younger readers—Bone, Captain Underpants, and The Powerpuff Girls—eschew the conceits of superhero narratives to appeal to audiences across multiple age groups. In addition, camp in comics motivates considerable discussion in gender and sexuality studies, as many scholars develop their scholarship out of the shadow of the Adam West Batman television series (itself continuing in new comic books released by publisher DC Comics). Additional topics can focus on the use of satire built around superheroes in fan communities online, such as The Hawkeye Initiative and Escher Girls.

Advertisements

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s