(NEMLA 2014) This Man...This Monster!: Superheroes, Disability, and Struggles with Normalcy

full name / name of organization: 
Kimberly Canuette Grimaldi
contact email: 
kcanuette@gmail.com

This Man...This Monster!: Superheroes, Disability, and Struggles with Normalcy
45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) April 3-6, 2014
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Host: Susquehanna University

Mainstream American comic books have long been populated by superheroes and villains. The cover for the June 1966 issue of Marvel Comic's *Fantastic Four* was emblazoned with the title ‘This Man...This Monster!’ The superhero known as the Thing, a man whose skin has become orange and rocky, stands front and center on the cover, labeled as both man and monster. This inverts the representation of many superheroes, by conflating their abilities and monstrosity. Every superhero is also a monster, a deformation or mutation of what it means to be a normal human. Labeled as modern myths or god-like beings, superheroes, and other similarly ideal characters, present an important counterpoint to the disabled in constructions of normalcy. This panel explores normalcy and deviations from the norm within comics.
In an attempt to broaden the scope of both disabilities and comics discourse, papers that bring into dialogue examinations of disabled characters with the ways in which deformities, distortions, and disfigurement affect space, form, and image in comic books are encouraged. Also, of particular interest are investigations that question the normative nature of form, structure, or content involved in the construction of comics.

In an attempt to broaden the scope of both disabilities and comics discourse, this panel seeks papers that bring into dialogue examinations of disabled characters with the ways in which deformities, distortions, and disfigurement affect space, form, and image in comic books. Also, of particular interest are papers that question the normative nature of form, structure, or content involved in the construction of comics.

Deadline: September 30, 2013

Please include with your 300 word abstract:

Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

Contact:
Kim Canuette Grimaldi
University of Texas at Austin
kcanuette@gmail.com

Alex Ponomareff
University of Massachusetts Amherst
aponomar@complit.umass.edu

cfp categories: 
american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
interdisciplinary
twentieth_century_and_beyond