superhero

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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CFP: Superhero Narratives and (Dis)Ability (NeMLA 2017, Baltimore, Deadline 9/30/2016)

Mary Ellen Iatropoulos (co-editor of the forthcoming volume Joss Whedon and Race from McFarland) and I are co-organizing a roundtable for the March 2017 Baltimore meeting of the Northeast Modern Language Association, focusing on representations of disabilities in superhero narratives.

This roundtable seeks presentations exploring how the superhero’s superpowered engagement of ableist society reveal or illustrate complications of negotiating the construction of (dis)ability. Recent works in comics, television, and film, such as DaredevilBatgirlMy Hero Academia, and Yuki Yuna Is a Hero, may be relevant to this roundtable’s discussion.

Please consider submitting a 300-word abstract and a brief biographical statement to NeMLA’s CFP List web site before the September 30th deadline. And please forward this call for papers to interested scholars.

The full CFP is below. Please email me at derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com if you have any questions.



Superhero Narratives and (Dis)Ability

https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16454

Chairs: Derek McGrath (Independent Scholar), Mary Ellen Iatropoulos (Independent Scholar)

Popular culture narratives present ever-increasing images of persons with disability, whether through superheroes themselves or via supporting cast members. Apart from literal impairment, superheroes and superpowers can also be read as allegories for disability and Othered bodies and minds. How can superpowers be read as disabilities, or disabilities as superpowers? How does the superhero’s superpowered engagement of ableist society reveal or illustrate complications of negotiating the construction of (dis)ability?

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Reminder: Call for papers for “Can The Subaltern Be A Superhero?” (Abstracts due May 30)

With the CFP posted here, to H-Net, to CFP List, and to numerous list servs, Rafael Ponce-Cordero and I have been receiving helpful feedback regarding the focus to our volume Can The Subaltern Be A Superhero? The Politics of Non-Hegemonic Superheroism. We also have been receiving abstracts and inquiries of interest: thanks to everyone who is writing to us!

There is still time before the May 30 deadline. We are interested in abstracts that consider what happens when the superhero is not male, heterosexual, white, or American. Topics fitting this call for papers may include, but are not limited to, female superheroes, LGBTQ superheroes, minority superheroes in the United States and elsewhere, and superheroes from the Global South.

If you have questions about potential topics that you are considering, please email Rafael (rponcecordero@keene.edu) and me (derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com).

And please share the CFP below with anyone you know who may be interested in this volume. Thanks for your consideration!


Can the Subaltern Be a Superhero?
The Politics of Non-Hegemonic Superheroism

Send 300-word abstracts and short bios to Rafael Ponce-Cordero at rponcecordero@keene.edu with subject line “CFP – Can the Subaltern Be a Superhero?” by May 30, 2016.

Superheroes are, by definition, guardians of law and order, i.e. of the status quo. Not coincidentally, the majority of them—and certainly the most famous ones—are male, straight, and white. Yet there are costumed crime-fighters who do not conform to that tacit rule and serve, in this sense, as examples of what we can call alternative superheroism. Those are the ones this collection of essays will examine.

Topics fitting this call for papers may include, but are not limited to, the following general themes:

  • Female superheroes
  • LGBTQ superheroes
  • Minority superheroes in the US and elsewhere
  • Superheroes from the Global South

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