Mixed Race/Superheroes

deadline for submissions: 
July 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Sika Dagbovie-Mullins and Eric Berlatsky
contact email: 

Call for Papers

Mixed-Race/Superheroes (co-edited by Eric Berlatsky and Sika Dagbovie-Mullins)

One of Marvel’s earliest superheroes, Prince Namor (aka the Sub-Mariner), could be considered one of the first symbolically mixed-race superheroes due to his both human and Atlantean lineage.  According to this logic, one could identify other half-humans in this category, including recent iterations of Wonder Woman (half-Amazon, half goddess), Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers (half-human, half-Kree) and the Marvel version of Hercules (half-human, half-god).  The Marvel universe has also more recently introduced more conventionally mixed-race characters such as Miles Morales (the ultimate Spider-Man) and Danielle Cage (daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones).  The editors are currently seeking essays that focus on (literal, metaphorical, or symbolic) representations of racial mixedness and related issues (hybridity, belonging/nonbelonging, racial authenticity and “purity,” passing, racial alienation, post-racialism) in superhero texts (comics, films, television shows, etc.). These may include but are not limited to:

  • mixed race actors who play superheroes on film/TV (Halle Berry in Catwoman and the original X-Men film franchise, Zendaya in Spiderman: Homecoming, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok, Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four, Keiynan Lonsdale as Kid Flash in the Flash television show, Dwayne Johnson in the upcoming Shazam franchise, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Eartha Kitt as Catwoman in the 1960s Batman TV show)
  • literal or symbolic mixed-race characters in superhero comics, films, or TV shows (Miles Morales/Ultimate Spider-Man, New 52 Wally West/Kid Flash, Liz Toomes in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Superman or Supergirl [Kryptonians raised by humans], Daken -- son of Wolverine and Itsu, Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, Barry Allen in the Flash TV show [a white child raised by an African-American father figure], The Mongrels – children of Wolverine, Tobias Whale [both black and albino] in the Black Lightning TV series)
  • metaphors of racial mixedness in franchises such as X-Men and/or the Inhumans
  • representations of superherodom and racial mixedness in popular culture such as Obama/Calvin Ellis as Superman in Final Crisis and other Grant Morrison stories and/or images of Obama as Superman in popular media

Please send 500-word abstract submissions (with tentative paper titles and abbreviated CVs) to sdagbovi@fau.edu and eberlats@fau.edu by July 1st.