18 January 2017

Whiteness and the American Superhero

Edited by Sean A. Guynes and Martin Lund, “This collection invites scholars to participate in demonstrating, historicizing, and challenging the operations of whiteness across the range of superhero comics produced in the 20th and 21st centuries in the United States. We welcome chapters that look at superhero narratives as well as at the production, distribution, and audience and reception contexts of those narratives, in order to highlight the imbrication of forces that have helped to create, normalize, challenge, and even subvert ideas about whiteness and race in U.S. superheroes.”

Abstract deadline April 1, 2017. They should be 200-250 words in length, and include a tentative title and brief bio of the contributor(s). Please send your submissions simultaneously to both editors at p.martin.lund@gmail.com and guynesse@msu.edu with the subject line “Last Name Whiteness Chapter Submission.” Full chapters of 5,000-6,000 words will be due by July 15, 2017. The book proposal will be sent to prospective publishers by August 1, 2017.

(sorry for the gap in updating – ill health hiatus of 2016)

21 July 2016

Heroism as a Global Phenomenon in Popular Culture

September 2017, Freiburg, Germany

Organized by Simon Wendt (Goethe University of Frankfurt), Michael Butter (University of Tuebingen), Nicole Falkenhayner, Wolfgang Hochbruck, Barbara Korte (University of Freiburg)

This multidisciplinary conference aims to highlight the complex and interrelated processes of creation, marketing, consumption, and impact, of globalized hero narratives, as well as the numerous cultural flows of exchange that have made them possible since the end of World War II. We are interested in contributions (case studies) which conceive of heroism as a transcultural and transnational phenomenon that may originate in one particular nation but ultimately transcends borders. Questions to be discussed would include how the meanings of heroic figures and narratives are changed in cultural translation, or what specific processes are active in the world-wide exchange of figures and concepts of the heroic. Case studies can focus on situations in Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia.

Please submit abstracts of approximately 200 words and a short CV by December 31, 2016, to sekretariat.korte@anglistik.uni-freiburg.de

Selected speakers will be reimbursed for the travel and accommodation costs.

15 June 2016

March 23-26, 2017, Baltimore, MD – NeMLA (Northeast Modern Language Association)
MULTIPLE RELEVANT PANELS follow link in headings for more info and to submit 300 word abstracts. Deadline: 30 September 2016,

Superhero Narratives and (Dis)ability 

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.

Chairs: Mary Ellen Iatropoulos and Derek McGrath

Comics of the Margins: Visions from the Periphery in World Graphic Narratives

This panel welcomes papers that examine the propagandistic, cosmological, religious, or ideological subtexts of comic books and longer graphic narratives originating in literatures outside of the paradigm of U.S. American comics.

Chairs: Camila Gutierrez (Pennsylvania State University-University Park) and Irenae Aigbedion (Pennsylvania State University-University Park)

The Representation of Race in American Comics/Graphic Novels

American comics have a long and checkered history in the way they have portrayed racial difference, though more recent comics/graphic novels have used the medium to comment effectively on American racial politics. As the genre grows in popularity in bookstores and on college campuses, now seems an opportune time to take stock of the ways this medium has both fostered and critiqued racist attitudes. This panel welcomes submissions on this topic from any era of American comics/graphic novels and from any literary critical or cultural studies perspective.

Chair: Teresa Feroli (New York University)

Comics and Graphic Novels in a Transnational Perspective,

This panel presents comparative case studies of comics or graphic novels with at least one German-language example. The comparisons can focus on various aspects of the works such as a common genre (e.g. memoir; steam-punk; manga), a common theme (e.g. immigration, women‘s representation, history), as well as formal elements (e.g. wordless graphic art; drawing styles).

Chair: Julia Ludewig (SUNY Binghamton)

“The Death of Zod”: Ethics in 21st-century Comics

From Man of Steel to the CW’s Arrow and Flash series to the Avengers franchise, comic book characters are facing new ethical developments in their rejuvenation that both encompass and go beyond the idea of killing one’s enemy. Following a loose Nietzschean trajectory of “The Death of God,” this panel seeks to tease out the issues of superheroes’ ethics. Further, this panel questions the regenerated heroes of the 21st century and the moral and ethical dilemmas these characters face in the contemporary world. Papers might focus on comic book adaptations on big and small screens or comic book characters’ revival in print.

Chairs: Forrest Johnson (York University) and Tracey Thomas (York University)

Marvel vs. DC: Civil War? 

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. 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.

Chair: Lisa Perdigao (Florida Institute of Technology)

“Do I wake or sleep?”: The Manifold Implications of Gaiman’s The Sandman 

Reading Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel series, The Sandman, is like racing through a condensed combined curriculum in the classic humanities and modern cultural studies.This panel explores The Sandman as a work of art and as a manifold vision into human life as viewed within a vast cultural and cosmologicial framework. All critical perspectives (including cultural studies, pedagogy, and interdisciplinary approaches) are welcome.

Chair: Joshua Cohen (Massachusetts College of Art and Design)

Masks, Mutations, and Metamorphoses: Transformation Sequences in Comics

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.

Chair: Rafael Ponce-Cordero (Keene State College)

14 June 2016

Superhero Identities Symposium

8th-9th December, Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) , Melbourne

The Superheroes & Me research team is organising a Superhero Identities Symposium. This Symposium will examine the many intersections between superheroes and identity. From big screen heroes to lesser-known comic book vigilantes and real-life costumed heroes, the symposium will include papers that consider superheroes across all eras and media platforms.

Keynote speakers and industry guests:

Professor Henry Jenkins: Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts and Education at University of Southern California and the author of landmark fan and transmedia research including Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide.
Paul Dini: Writer of the Emmy Award-winning Batman: The Animated Series, best-selling video game Batman: Arkham Asylum, and the Eisner Award-winning comic Mad Love.
Hope Larson: Eisner Award-winning graphic novelist (A Wrinkle in Time), co-creator of Boom! Comics’ Goldie Vance, and writer of DC Comics new reimagining of Batgirl.


Please email your proposals of 250-300 words for individual 20 minute presentations or full panels, as well as any queries, to Dr. Liam Burke (wburke@swin.edu.au) by Friday, 24 June 2016.

Please include a 150 word bio with your submission.

06 June 2016

Special Issue. Find David Bowie: Alternative Approaches to Bowie and Comics

The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship invites authors and artists to submit contributions for a special collection of papers offering alternative scholarly approaches to David Bowie and comics.

This will be an open access scholarly collection edited by Dr Brenna Clarke Gray (Douglas College, New Westminster, Canada) and the Comics Grid editorial team.

This call for papers explicitly invites submissions from early-career, marginalised, or underrepresented scholars, including those who are people of colour, queer, or woman-identifying.

Deadline: September 1st 2016

Online submission via journal’s website, contact editors at: comicsgrid@gmail.com


CFP: Monstrous Women in Comics—an Interdisciplinary Conference on Women in Comics and Graphic Novels

A two-and-a-half-day interdisciplinary conference, May 2017, University of North Texas, Denton, TX

Keynote: Dr. Carol Tilley, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The relationship between women and the comics industry is contested perhaps now more than ever before. Fresh conflicts in mainstream presses reveal lingering aversions to women creators, and fan-reactions to reboots demonstrate similar dis-ease with “non-canonical” re-imaginings of female characters. Far from being novel, these tensions are rooted in the very history of western comics. Building on the work of postmodern scholars like Donna Haraway, and following from recent iterations of Monster Studies, we seek to critically engage with, and re-evaluate, monstrous women in comics.

We invite all interested participants to join us in thinking about monstrous women in comics across genres: papers may engage with historical studies of women in comics, mainstream comics, graphic novels, indie comics, religious comics, or web comics.

In order to further emphasize the fruitfulness of transgressing boundaries and engaging with the monstrous, this conference also seeks to leak over the boundaries of academia by inviting women comics creators who would like to submit their work for a temporary gallery exhibition and/or who would be interested in tabling the event. All interested creators/vendors should email a short bio and any relevant links to portfolios or previous works.

To submit a paper proposal, or to express interest in exhibiting/tabling, please send an email to monstrouswomen@gmail.com by September 1 2016 5pm CST with the following information:

  • Name, institutional affiliation, email address
  • 250-word abstract (if applicable)
  • Short bio & portfolio links (if applicable)

31 May 2016

 Call for Papers: Special Issue of American Literature: Queer about Comics

Call for submissions to a special journal issue. Full papers  of 11,000 words or less (including endnotes and references) should be submitted electronically by July 31, 2016. When choosing a submission type, select “Submission-Special Issue-Comics.” For assistance with the submission process, please contact the office of American Literature at am-lit@duke.edu For inquiries about the content of the issue, please contact the coeditors: Ramzi Fawaz (fawaz@wisc.edu) and Darieck Scott (dbscott@berkeley.edu).

28 April 2016

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

What happens when the superhero is not male, heterosexual, white, and/or American? How do female, gay, or minority characters reconcile their “otherness” with their roles as guardians of the status quo? Are costumed crime-fighters from the Global South different from their First World counterparts? Can you get truth and justice, without the American way? How does the non-hegemonic imagination handle an imaginary that is hegemonic almost by nature? In short, can the subaltern be a superhero?

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

19 April 2016

The Comics Work of Neil Gaiman: In Darkness, In Light, and In Shadow

Call for submissions to an edited collection requested by publisher.
This volume seeks to examine Gaiman’s broadly illustrated corpus (picture books, comics, graphic novels, video games, etc.) along those lines of the dark, the light, and those that are particularly difficult to classify and define by the fact that they are seemingly both—the shadowy genre-bending work. This volume will investigate the comics and graphic novel work of Neil Gaiman broadly. Proposals are welcomed for critical essays that approach the subject from any of a variety of methodological/ theoretical perspectives.

Abstracts of approximately 250-500 words (with author’s affiliation and brief biography) are due 15 May 2016 with first drafts of essays running 5000-5500 words due 15 October 2016. Please send any inquiries and proposals to Joseph Michael Sommers and Kyle Eveleth at sommerseveleth@gmail.com .

16 April 2016

Heroes in popular culture

A call for papers for the Heroes in Popular Culture area at 2016 Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference (MPCA), to be held October 6-9th.

Please upload 250 word abstract proposals on any aspect of Heroes in Popular Culture to the Heroes in Popular Culture area, http://submissions.mpcaaca.org/. Deadline 30th April

Any questions to be emailed to Area Chair Jef Burnham at jefburnham@gmail.com,

More information about the conference can also be found at http://mpcaaca.org/

28 March 2016

CFP Superheroes and Supervillains

An area of multiple panels for the 2016 Film & History Conference: Gods and Heretics: Figures of Power and Subversion in Film and Television
October 26-October 30, 2016 The Milwaukee Hilton, Milwaukee, WI (USA)

Of particular interest are discussions regarding what superheroes and supervillains may illustrate societal tensions regarding power and challenges to that power. For example, how might the struggles between “good” and “evil” address changing notions of power and subversion?

DEADLINE for abstracts: June 1, 2016

Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, but they must include an abstract and contact information, including an e-mail address, for each presenter. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (www.filmandhistory.org).

Please e-mail your 200-word proposal by 1 June 2016 to the area chair:

Norma Jones: SmartyPop and LiquidFlicks Media, Inc. normajones@smartypop.com


7 March 2016 

AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

Also known as the Academic Program track of Anime Expo, the largest anime convention in the U.S. Every year, the Symposium brings together a select group of academics, graduate students, undergraduates, and independent scholars who present their research on a wide range of topics related to anime/manga directly to AX’s attendees.

If you would like to be considered for participation as a speaker, please review the CFP, and submit your proposal (300 words maximum) to me at mkoulikov@gmail.com. The proposal submission deadline is April 15. And, you are welcome (and encouraged) to pass it along to anyone who you think may be interested in speaking on the program or attending!


Have you ever read a review of a comic or graphic novel on a website and felt like you were only reading a book report? How many of you noticed an article in an academic journal that focused on one of your favorite graphic novels, but it ended up glossing over – or completely forgetting – to mention aspects of the art and dryly deconstructed the narrative? This collection seeks to address these concerns and more through providing readers with a brief and accessible primer on how to approach comics from a critical perspective.

Please submit a 250 word abstract along with your CV to Forrest C. Helvie at forrest.helvie@att.net by March 15th. Notice of acceptance will be given by March 25th. Completed chapters will be due by May 15th.

3 March 1016

Superhero Identities Symposium

Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). Melbourne

Superhero identities range from those that symbolise a nation, to web communities that use cosplay to challenge gender roles, and the people of a city coming together under the banner of a caped crusader.

The Superheroes & Me research team is organising a Superhero Identities Symposium at Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) on 8–9 December 2016.

Send your proposals of 250-300 words for individual presentations or full panels, as well as any queries, to Dr. Liam Burke ( wburke@swin.edu.au ) by Friday, 24 June 2016.

Please include a 150 word bio with your submission.

1 March 2016

Superheroes and Critical Animal Studies

We are seeking 300-500 word abstracts by March 15th, 2016 for possible inclusion into an edited collection seeking to explore the world of animal rights and liberation against the backdrop of superheroes in film, television, and comics. While there are many book projects that look at the superhero universe from a variety of perspectives there has yet to be a collection that approaches it from the question of the nonhuman. This project is meant to fill that absence focusing on the construction of the (super)human as it relates to the way our culture understands and values nonhuman animals.

Please direct any questions and 300-500 word abstracts along with a 150 word bio to Dr. JL Schatz (debate@binghamton.edu) and Dr. Sean Parson (sean.parson@nau.edu) by March 15th, 2016. Final pieces will be approximately 5,000 to 7,000 words.

We will notify authors of their acceptance no later than April 1st, 2016.

29 February 2016

MLA 2017: Drawing the Line: Comics and Adaptation

This roundtable seeks to extend this scholarly conversation, exploring intersections between Comics and Adaptation Studies. Papers with an international or global focus are particularly welcome.

Please send 250-word abstracts to Susan Kirtley (skirtley@pdx.edu) by March 15. Acceptances will be announced by early April.

Please note: This CFP is for a proposed, not guaranteed, session at MLA 2017, which means that the session is contingent on approval by the MLA Program Committee. Responses to individual submissions will be sent out by the beginning of April, but the MLA Program Committee will not consider the entire session proposal until after that date. All prospective presenters must be current MLA members by no later than April 2016.

29 January 2016


The Open Court Philosophy and Pop Culture Series
Edited by Nicolas Michaud and Jacob May
Deadline 1st March 2016
Send abstracts to: philosophylives@gmail.com

Abstracts and subsequent essays must be accessible to a lay audience as well as philosophically substantial. All writing should be engaging and directly relevant to Deadpool film, comics, and games. Each chapter accepted for publication must address the character from a philosophical perspective. The chapters must be pointed and direct, engaging philosophical tools and theories to highlight insights revealed by Deadpool. This text, in particular, is an opportunity to have fun with the reader through philosophy. Authors are encouraged to be snarky, funny, and perhaps occasionally rude. But as philosophers, the last one should be no problem.

***The 10 to 12-paged papers are written in a conversational style***

Submission Guidelines:

Submission deadline for abstracts (100-500 words) and CV’s: March 1st
Notification of accepted abstracts: March 7th
Submission deadline for first drafts of accepted papers:  May 1st

Kindly submit abstract (with or without Word attachment) and CV by email to: Nicolas Michaud (philosophylives@gmail.com).

Possible topics include…

•       Can Deadpool be a virtuous hero and still commit murder?
•       Deadpool gets paid for his good deeds. Can he truly be considered a hero?
•       The 4th Wall, Existence, and Literature. What kind of existence do literary characters have if they “know” they are in a comic book?
•       Deadpool seems to have a deeper awareness of self and the maya; how can that be coherent with his violence?
•       Deadpool and Immortality—Is it so good to never die?
•       The Virtue of Humor—Making fun of Wolverine.
•       Deadpool and Camus. Our hero knows he is in a comic book but is powerless to escape, can he make meaning out of meaninglessness?
•       How does Deadpool’s past reflect on the power of genetics and upbringing? •       Deadpool and the Problem of Identity. Is Deadpool really Wade Wilson?
•       Which of his personalities are the “real” Deadpool?
•       Why let the child die? (the Apocalypse conundrum).
•       The Multiverse Paradox – Rounding up the Deadpool Corps together in one universe.
•       Deadpool kills the Marvel Universe – what happens when Deadpool breaks into the “real-world” to kill the writers?
•       Deadpool and Destruction of the Self – Is hunting down all versions of himself a form of suicide?
•       If one knows that one’s fate is “written” can one be said to be free?

21st August 2015


Special issue CfP (deadline 8th January 2016)

Guest editors:
Dr Rebecca Finkel,
Senior Lecturer, Queen Margaret University, rfinkel@qmu.ac.uk
Dr Kate Sang,
Associate Professor, Heriot-Watt University, k.sang@hw.ac.uk
Steven Glasgow,
PhD student, Heriot-Watt University, SG264@hw.ac.uk
A special issue examining the interface between popular culture and organisational life, and how popular culture represents, constructs, and negotiates issues relating to masculinities and femininities. A range of scholars from different disciplines are analysing popular culture to understand the complexities of work under neoliberal capitalism and the personal, professional, and subjective vagaries of organisational life.

How does this relate to superheroes? What about writing about Stark Industries, Pepper Potts and profitablity? Or Wayne Enterprises all male boardroom and Talia al Ghul. Agent Carter and sexism in S.H.I.E.L.D? The legacy of WWII in US political fictions about heroism? The list of topics is endless… As the editors state:

In spite of the upsurge of interest in popular culture in organisational theory, relatively little of this literature provides us with a sustained feminist or critical race analysis of organisations or management. In particular, little is said about and how films and television may influence managerial and organisational masculinities and femininities and their classing and racialisation. In this special issue, we welcome contributions which explore popular representations of management and managers, especially those which use feminist and critical race theory to critique how managerial masculinities and femininities are (re)produced. We particularly welcome papers which look at the representation of women of colour and from those examining sources of media in languages other than English.

Submissions can be in English, German, Greek, Thai. For other languages please contact the editorial team as they may be able to accommodate this, for example, French, Spanish or Portugese.

Manuscripts should be no more than 8,000 words, including notes and references, and be in conformity with IPED style guidelines. If you have an idea for a shorter piece e.g. a research note please contact the editorial team; they welcome innovative pieces so please do get in touch if you have something you’d like to discuss.


15th April 2015

CFP: The Superhero Project

Monday 7th September – Wednesday 9th September 2015
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

“Superman! Champion of the oppressed, the physical marvel who had sworn to devote his existence to helping those in need.” – Action Comics #1, 1938 (DC Comics)

The 1st Global Conference on Superheroes invites inter-disciplinary discussion on superheroes and the notion of the super-heroic. Areas of discussion could include: the propagation of the notion of the soldier as superhero; post-human technological augmentation and the cyborg body as enabled by Google Glass; the real-life costumed superhero group known as The Rain City Superhero Movement; India’s superhero Priya and the character’s addressing of sexual violence; Marvel Comics’ decision to change the gender of Norse god superhero Thor and the ethnicity of Spider-Man; superhero movies’ presentation of urban mass disaster as spectacle; the co-opting of the Guy Fawkes mask as made famous by Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta mask by social activist group Anonymous.

Indicative themes for discussion may include but are not limited to: Post-Humanism, Dual Identities, Gender and Ethnicity, Sexuality, Deconstruction, Social Responsibility, The Heroic and the Patriotic, Pop Culture Depictions.

In addition to the presentation of conference papers, the Steering Group welcomes the submission of shorts workshops and accounts of professional practice, as well as other contributions, including performances. It particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals.

What to Send:
300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 5th June 2015. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 7th August 2015.

Organising Chairs:
Danny Graydon: d.graydon@btinternet.com
Rob Fisher: super1@inter-disciplinary.net

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.