The Force of The Umbrella Academy (MLA 2020)

deadline for submissions: 
March 25, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Lisann Anders / University of Zurich
contact email: 

Call for papers for a proposed special session at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention on January 9-12, 2020, in Seattle, Washington.

The Netflix show Umbrella Academy, which is based on the comic book series from 2008/2009, gives superhero stories a new twist as it revolves more around identity quests and the acceptance of powers or the lack thereof within a dysfunctional family environment. Trying to define what it means to be a hero, what it means to have powers, what it means to be human, and what it means to be a family, the protagonists need to start over. They need to overcome their own individual struggles by means of their family to be a family once again.

This proposed special session aims at looking at the comics and the TV show Umbrella Academy with a focus on the concept of 'force.' Examples for potential readings of force in the context of The Umbrella Academy can include (but are not limited to)

  • supernatural forces
  • natural forces
  • spatial forces
  • forced family structures
  • forces of violence
  • the impact of the comics and the show on the respective audience.

 

Please send a 300-word abstract and bio to Lisann Anders (lisann.anders@es.uzh.ch) by 25 March 2019. Please note that this is a proposed session. Acceptance to the panel does not guarantee acceptance to the MLA convention. All panelists must be MLA members by April 2019.