The Monster In The House: Domestic Ideology in Superhero Narratives (NeMLA 2016 Panel 15842)

full name / name of organization: 
Mary Ellen Iatropoulos, Independent Scholar / Derek S. McGrath, SUNY Stony Brook

Deadline for abstract submissions: September 30th 2015

In worlds full of superhuman heroes, mythological imaginary creatures and battle narratives of epic scope, what is the role of the domestic? In the recently released film _Avengers: Age of Ultron_, the titular superheroes hide away not in a high-tech secured stronghold but in a farmhouse belonging to the archer Hawkeye, his wife, and their young children. Barton's presence as the film's only parent with a seemingly stable domestic lifestyle provides a temporary shelter for our heroes, illustrating how the domestic can function as a stable ground for the superhero narrative to withstand its otherwise fantastic, explosive elements.

This panel session seeks proposals investigating the ways in which domestic spaces function within superhero narratives as sites of union and/or conflict between the human, the subhuman, and the superhuman. How do teenage vigilantes like those in _Runaways_ construct unconventional homes? How do familial/community obligations inspire the Hell's Kitchen resident Daredevil to defend his hometown? How have heterogeneous, even internally combative, groups like the X-Men and the Justice League been imagined as odd couple household scenarios? How have extraterrestrials such as Superman used domestic ideology to make sense of their self-appointed mission to protect their adopted homes, and how may domestic ideology help us make sense of reading these characters' stories as allegories of immigrants' experiences?

This session seeks proposals that explore how domestic ideology informs and functions within superhero stories, as well as how humanity and the human are depicted in the context of domestic spaces within superhero narratives.

Please do not directly send abstracts by email. Abstract submissions should be processed by the NeMLA database and user-based system. To this end, presenters should upload their abstracts at https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/cfp by choosing session #15842 and following the instructions to create a user account. Please contact NeMLA Support Staff (support@nemla.org) regarding any questions you have about using the new system.

About NeMLA 2016:

Northeast Modern Language Association
47th Annual Convention
Hartford, Connecticut
March 17-20, 2016
Hosted by the University of Connecticut

In spring 2016, the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) will meet in Hartford, Connecticut, for its 47th Annual Convention. Every year, this event affords NeMLA's principal opportunity to carry on a tradition of lively research and pedagogical exchange in language and literature. The convention will include a full array of sessions, workshops, literary readings, film screenings, and guest speakers.

Hartford features some of the most significant historic and cultural sites in New England: the adjacent and interconnected Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe Houses; the artistic and cultural collections at the Wadsworth Atheneum; classic and contemporary performances at the Hartford Stage, Theater Works, and the Bushnell Center for Performing Arts; archives and research opportunities at the Connecticut Historical Society and Connecticut State Library and State Archives; unique and offbeat museums for kids and families such as the Connecticut Science Center and the CRRA Trash Museum; and much more. Both Adriaen's Landing (the newly completed area around the convention center) and the historic downtown feature a variety of restaurants, shops, and parks.

This convention will feature approximately 400 sessions, dynamic speakers and cultural events. 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.