other people’s awesome stuff

Announcing lineup for “Teaching Anime and Manga” (NeMLA April 2018 Pittsburgh)

My colleague Stevi Grimm and I are happy to announce the lineup for our session “Teaching Anime and Manga,” scheduled for the April 2018 convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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CFP: “Strong Female Characters: Subversive Femininity in Literature and Popular Media” (Northeast MLA, April 2018, Pittsburgh), Submission Deadline 9/30/17

Below is a call for papers by my colleague, Mary Ellen Iatropoulos. “Strong Female Characters: Subversive Femininity in Literature and Popular Media” seeks abstracts that draw parallels between 19th-century literature and 21st-century popular media representations of subversive femininity. Successful papers will describe what critical insights such a comparison yields, as well as what conclusions for modern audiences such analysis reveals.

The CFP summary is below, and you may read the full CFP and submit abstracts online with a free NeMLA CFP List account at this link by September 30, 2017: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16962

Please email me (derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com) or tweet at Mary Ellen (@metamare) or me (@dereksmcgrath) with any questions.

Image layout by Mary Ellen Iatropoulos

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CFP: “Of Superpowers and Privilege: Diversity in Superhero Narratives” (Northeast MLA, April 2018, Pittsburgh), Submission Deadline 9/30/17

I had shared calls for papers related to comics for the April 2018 convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA), with abstracts due September 30, 2017. I have updated that list to include this CFP by my colleague, Mary Ellen Iatropoulos.

“Of Superpowers and Privilege: Diversity in Superhero Narratives” emerges partially as a response to comics publishers, in particular Marvel, facing criticism for whitewashing of adaptations such as Doctor Strange and Iron Fist, even blaming “diversity” for slumping comics sales. Fans’ backlash to such failure to increase diversity, even to blame diversity, demonstrates that, for all the repetition of the word “diversity,” its ideals are far from its implementation.

The CFP summary is below, and you may read the full CFP and submit abstracts online by September 30, 2017, with a free NeMLA CFP List account at this ink: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16965

Please email me (derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com) or tweet at Mary Ellen (@metamare) or me (@dereksmcgrath) with any questions.

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Send your questions for “The Pop Culture Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe” here! (#NeMLA17 #S411)

Today at 8:30 AM Eastern, we’re talking Edgar Allan Poe’s continued influence on popular culture.

Watch the slideshow here (where you can submit questions as well) or on Twitter hashtags #NeMLA17 #S411.

#NeMLA17 #S306: “Transformation Sequences in Comics,” Thu Mar 23, 4:30 PM in Dover A

On Thursday, March 23, 2017, at 4:30 PM, I will be chairing the session “Masks, Mutations, and Metamorphoses: Transformation Sequences in Comics,” at the 2017 Baltimore meeting of the Northeast Modern Language Association, organized by my colleague Rafael Ponce-Cordero at Keene State College. I had helped Rafael with writing of the session description:

The transformation sequence is standard to comics: Clark Kent rushes out of the phone booth and is now Superman, Usagi Tsukino spins and lights up to transform into Sailor Moon, Kamala Khan experiences terrigenesis to become Ms. Marvel, and Bruce Banner hulks out into a giant green rage monster. This session welcomes submissions that look at transformations not only of characters but of the graphic narrative form, and how those alterations affect other narrative practices in the novel, film, and television.

I’m honored to chair on Rafael’s behalf.

Below is the lineup:

  • “The Interrelation of Transformation, Ethnicity, and Form in American Born Chinese
    Kom Kunyosying, Nashua Community College
  • “The Gay Superheroine As Filipino: A Postcolonial Queerying of ZsaZsa Zaturnnah
    Christian Ylagan, Western University
  • “Rejecting the Mainstream: Transformative Rage in Queer Comics”
    Tesla Cariani, Emory University

The session is in Dover A on the Third Floor of the Marriott Waterfront. If you can’t make it, message questions to me on Twitter @dereksmcgrath or at the hashtags #S306 #NeMLA17 between 4:30 PM and 6:30 PM.

Edgar Allan Poe Sessions at #NeMLA17 Baltimore, March 23-26

The Northeast Modern Language Association comes to Baltimore, one of Edgar Allan Poe’s homes, Thursday through Sunday. Below is a list of some of the sessions we have put together in examining his literature, criticism, and ongoing influence.

As well, the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum will be open during the convention.

Thanks to Susan Elizabeth Sweeney at College of the Holy Cross for compiling this list!

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#GeekGuide: Comics, Video Game, and Fan Culture Panels at #NeMLA17

Each year, the Northeast Modern Language Association’s (NeMLA) annual convention features presentations on comics and graphic novels, already long accepted as media worthy of critical analysis. And this year’s convention at the Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore, Maryland, March 23 to 26, also features sessions on related topics in anime, manga, video games, and fan culture.

And I would know–I’ve been proofreading this program repeatedly as part of my job at NeMLA.

I’ve compiled as many comics, video game, and fan culture presentations that I could find in the online schedule. I encourage you, if you are attending the convention, to check out these sessions and share your thoughts on social media. And check out the program online for more sessions!

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Deadline Friday: Poe and Comics at NeMLA 2017!

Friday, September 30, 2016, is the deadline to submit to the more than 400 calls for papers at the 48th annual meeting of the Northeast Modern Language Association, in Baltimore, Maryland.

My colleagues and I are organizing exciting panels in studies of literature and popular culture, including two sessions I’m putting together on Edgar Allan Poe and representations of disabilities in comics.

And additional sessions below may be of interest in light of recent developments in comics and the superhero genre–Luke Cage premieres tomorrow as well, so why not watch the show, and use that to draft an abstract to a relevant session below?

These are just a few of the exciting sessions (with links for submitting 300-word abstracts) that can lead to dynamic discussions–so please consider submitting abstracts or forwarding these calls of papers to interested peers.

CFP: “Marvel vs. DC: Civil War?” (NeMLA Baltimore 2017; deadline Sep 30 2016)

Last year at the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA), my colleague Mary Ellen Iatropoulos and I were happy to host Lisa Perdigao on our academic roundtable about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This year, for NeMLA’s 2017 convention in Baltimore, Lisa is organizing a panel on rivalries, not just within Marvel Comics but as it pertains to its long-lasting competition with fellow comic book publisher DC Comics.

DC and Marvel have collaborated in the past for crossovers and amalgamations of their fictional universes, revealing the parallels between them, such as Batman and Daredevil (or Iron Man), Green Arrow and Hawkeye, Atom and Ant Man, Superman and Captain America (or Thor)–or just so we could see a fistfight between the Justice League and the Avengers, or watch Superman wield Captain America’s shield and Mjolnir.

This competition has moved off of the comic book pages and onto the silver screen. Whereas Marvel has embraced a fun, eclectic blending of various genres in its numerous film adaptations from Disney and other film studios, DC has remained fixed largely at Warner Bros and has persisted with a grim portrayal of superheroes that has appealed to some fans and irritated many others. It’s even inspired popular web parodies. This shift from comics to film production even resulted in a new bicoastal rivalry: DC Comics has moved to Hollywood, while Marvel Comics stays in New York City.

This CFP also has the potential for presentations not necessarily as to the rivalry between DC and Marvel, but a comparison of how the two comic book companies portray rivalries. How does the rivalry between Superman and Batman differ from that between Captain America and Iron Man? How are metahumans portrayed differently from mutants and inhumans? What is it about superhero stories that perpetuate the idea of rivalries rather than collaboration?

And that’s not even touching upon all of the other works that DC and Marvel have created but which are outside of the superhero genre, such as literary adaptations, The SandmanPreacher, and Lucifer.

Obviously, there are a wealth of topics for consideration to this CFP, and I strongly encourage interested scholars to submit to Lisa’s session, or to forward this CFP to interested colleagues.

The full CFP is below.


Marvel vs. DC: Civil War?

Northeast Modern Language Association
Baltimore, March 23-26, 2017
Chair: Lisa Perdigao (Florida Institute of Technology)
Deadline: September 30, 2016

Submit 300-word abstracts and short bios online at https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16494 

Released in spring 2016, Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice converge on the narrative of a house divided. Marvel’s and DC’s staging of the wars between their respective superheroes is suggestive of a larger battle between the two franchises that dates back to the comics. These two films represent turning points for the companies, as they threaten to disassemble the Avengers and the Justice League as soon as—and even before—they are created. Adapted from the comics, the films’ narratives highlight central tensions within the individual universes as well as the ongoing rivalry between the two companies.

This panel will explore how the concept of civil war plays out within and between the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and DC Entertainment films and television series. Papers are sought that examine individual Marvel and DC works (comics, films, and television series), the expansive Marvel and DC universes, and the relationship between the two rival companies. Possible topics include the difficulties of assembling a superteam in the twenty-first century, the race to utilize new mediums in the digital age, and the conflicting ideologies represented by Marvel and DC.