Can the Subaltern Be a Superhero? The Politics of Non-Hegemonic Superheroism (NeMLA 2014)

full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 
rponcecordero@keene.edu

This panel welcomes papers that examine superhero narratives (in comics, film, and other media) working "against the grain." Superheroes are, by definition, guardians of law and order, i.e. of the status quo. Not coincidentally, the vast majority of costumed crime-fighters—and certainly the most famous ones—are male, heterosexual, and white. Yet there are superheroes that do not conform to that tacit rule and serve, in this sense, as examples of what we can call alternative superheroism. Those are the ones this panel will examine.

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 role as guardians of the status quo? Also, 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?

Please send 300-word abstracts to Rafael Ponce-Cordero at rponcecordero@keene.edu

45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 3-6, 2014
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Host: Susquehanna University

Deadline: September 30, 2013
Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

The 2014 NeMLA convention continues the Association's tradition of sharing innovative scholarship in an engaging and generative location. This capitol city set on the Susquehanna River is known for its vibrant restaurant scene, historical sites, the National Civil War museum, and nearby Amish Country, antique shops and Hershey Park. NeMLA has arranged low hotel rates of $104-$124.

The 2014 event will include guest speakers, literary readings, professional events, and workshops. A reading by George Saunders will open the Convention. His 2013 collection of short fiction, The Tenth of December, has been acclaimed by the New York Times as “the best book you’ll read this year.” The Keynote speaker will be David Staller of Project Shaw.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable. http://www.nemla.org/convention/2014/cfp.html

cfp categories: 
african-american
american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ethnicity_and_national_identity
film_and_television
gender_studies_and_sexuality
interdisciplinary
popular_culture