search the archive
search the archive
Love and Violence: Action Heroes
full name / name of organization:
Cynthia Miller/Film & HIstory
Call for Papers
AREA: Love and Violence: Action Heroes
Though often bullied into a narrative corner, love remains a powerful motivator in the action genre. Despite an atmosphere of danger, brutality, and death, heroes bend to moments of tender passions, consuming jealousy, blind devotion, and sexual chemistry. From an estranged husband's love in Die Hard and a dueling courtship in Batman Returns to Aragon’s devotion to Arwen in Lord of the Rings and the longing between X-Men's Wolverine and Jean Grey, love is a complex interjection—sometimes a disruption—in a genre that typically rewards stoicism and aggression.
This area welcomes papers exploring the many representations of love and romance in the action genre, particularly focusing on action heroes. How does love—familial or romantic—drive the storyline? Does it complicate or complement? How does love make an action hero accessible, realistic, or human? Conversely, how is love used to weaken a hero, color his or her judgment, or bring about a downfall? How does femininity/masculinity affect the expression of sentiment? How do generic expectations dilute or bastardize love, especially when paired with forms of sexual violence (rape, masochism, sadism) or racism/sexism? What is the feminizing effect of love on heroes? How are threats of non-normative sexuality or love integrated or repressed? What sacrifices, consequences, or rewards are given in the name of love?
Possibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Push-Pull Lovers: The Matrix; Mr. and Mrs. Smith; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Batman Returns
Please send your 250-word proposal to
Jennie M. Morton, Area Chair
Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (www.uwosh.edu/filmandhistory).