On the Scholarship of Religion and Comic Books (12/1/2011; PCA/ACA, April 2012)
Overview: The last half-dozen years have seen an explosion in U.S. publications addressing the intersection of religion and comics, but little has been said on the body of work taken as a whole. Outside of individual reviews, rarely are these works discussed in terms of their applications, their intertextuality, their audiences, their shortcomings, or the new questions they raise. This panel is to act as a forum addressing either portions of these works, entire books, their shared space, or the next steps to which they may all lead. In addition to the print publications recommended below, this panel also invites reflections on some of the websites and blogs conducting similar work, also listed:
Books: Superheroes: Religion and Popular Culture (2005), Up, Up, and Oy Vey (2006), Our Gods Wear Spandex (2007), Superheroes and Gods: A Comparative Study from Babylonia to Batman (2007), Disguised as Clark Kent (2007), Holy Superheroes! Revised and Expanded Edition (2008), From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books (2008), The Jewish Graphic Novel: Critical Approaches (2008), Jews and American Comics (2008), India's Immortal Comic Books: Gods, Kings, and Other Heroes (2009), Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels (2010), Supergods (2011), The Seven Spiritual Laws of the Superhero (2011), Do the Gods Wear Capes? (2011)
Online: ComicAttack.net "Comics Are My Religion" columns, ComicBookBin.com "Religion and Comics" columns, By Rao! Religion and Religion site, Jewish Comics blog, Faith in Four Colors site
Other English-language, U.S. market pieces of scholarship may be considered, but the focus should remain on already-produced analysis, not on works-in-progress nor on the comics themselves. Submissions should be thoughtful reflections on how these pieces function, what opportunities they present, where they may fail, and what has been overlooked.
Abstracts of 100-250 words, a C.V., and brief bio are due by December 1 to ADL@bu.edu for consideration.