CALL FOR PAPERS: The Politics of the Superhero Genre
Contributions are invited for a print symposium on the politics of the superhero genre, with a special focus on superhero comics, for publication in PS: Political Science and Politics. Contributors are invited to comment on the relationship of superheroes to questions of power, ideology, social relations, and political culture. This symposium will represent the first time that a political science journal has devoted sustained attention to the superhero genre as it is reflected in the pages of comic books and graphic novels.
The range of topics that could usefully be explored in this symposium is considerable. The following list identifies only a few of the ways in which the relationship of superheroes to explicitly political questions could be approached:
- the impact of real-world events on comic book storylines;
- the depiction of gender roles and the relationship of the superhero to changing notions of masculinity, femininity, sexuality, and social hierarchy;
- the contrast between vigilantism and conventional notions of law and order;
- the emergence of environmental concerns as reflected in such characters as Swamp Thing and the Green Arrow;
- the treatment of political parties, electoral politics, and/or policy debates;
- the portrayal of race, class, and/or the “other” in the pages of superhero comics.
Contributions from across the discipline are welcome. Completed papers should be 8-12 pages in length, double-spaced, 12 pt font, excluding figures, tables, or references.
The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2013; the deadline for completed papers is September 1, 2013. The expected publication date is January 2014.
Proposals and inquiries should be sent to the symposium’s coeditors, Matthew Costello (Saint Xavier University) and Kent Worcester (Marymount Manhattan College): firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
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