Event Title

Disability, Visuality and the Silver Age Superhero

Location

Goldstein Student Center

Event Website

http://crippingthecon.com/

Start Date

11-4-2013 8:45 AM

End Date

11-4-2013 9:30 AM

Description

Marshalling insights from Disability Studies, Death and Dying Studies, and Comics Studies, this project seeks to redefine the contemporary understanding of the superhero, supporting its thesis with cases drawn from DC and Marvel comics published 1961-1993. Its main argument centers on the novel ways in which the Silver Age (particularly through the characters Daredevil, Thor, Iron Man, the X-Men, Doom Patrol and the Fantastic Four) highlighted the superheroic body's fundamental denial of disability and death, a phenomenon seen much more rarely in works of the previous Golden Age. This new mode of bodily representation not only heightened the potential for psychological development and drama (a hallmark of the early Marvel series), but lay bare a structuring, disavowed lack at the heart of the superhero genre itself, expressed as hypercompensation (read: superpowers) for that lack. From such observations the resulting book (forthcoming, University Press of Mississippi) proceeds to a reinterpretation of characters and series (some familiar, some obscure) through a Disability and Death Studies lens, maintaining that these genre changes reflect a wider awareness of related body issues in postwar America, as represented by the hospice, Death with Dignity and Disability Rights movements.

José Alaniz is associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of Comparative Literature (adjunct) at the University of Washington – Seattle. He published his first book, Komiks: Comic Art in Russia (University Press of Mississippi), in 2010. He currently chairs the Executive Committee of the International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF), the leading comics studies conference in the US. Alaniz has written and published expansively on disability in the comics medium, especially in the superhero genre. In addition to finishing work on Death, Disability and the Superhero, he has begun work on another book, tentatively titled Disability in Euro-American Alternative Comics. He also published extensively in International Journal of Comic Art and via Comics Forum.


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Full presentation will be available in August 2013.

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Apr 11th, 8:45 AM Apr 11th, 9:30 AM

Disability, Visuality and the Silver Age Superhero

Goldstein Student Center

Marshalling insights from Disability Studies, Death and Dying Studies, and Comics Studies, this project seeks to redefine the contemporary understanding of the superhero, supporting its thesis with cases drawn from DC and Marvel comics published 1961-1993. Its main argument centers on the novel ways in which the Silver Age (particularly through the characters Daredevil, Thor, Iron Man, the X-Men, Doom Patrol and the Fantastic Four) highlighted the superheroic body's fundamental denial of disability and death, a phenomenon seen much more rarely in works of the previous Golden Age. This new mode of bodily representation not only heightened the potential for psychological development and drama (a hallmark of the early Marvel series), but lay bare a structuring, disavowed lack at the heart of the superhero genre itself, expressed as hypercompensation (read: superpowers) for that lack. From such observations the resulting book (forthcoming, University Press of Mississippi) proceeds to a reinterpretation of characters and series (some familiar, some obscure) through a Disability and Death Studies lens, maintaining that these genre changes reflect a wider awareness of related body issues in postwar America, as represented by the hospice, Death with Dignity and Disability Rights movements.

José Alaniz is associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of Comparative Literature (adjunct) at the University of Washington – Seattle. He published his first book, Komiks: Comic Art in Russia (University Press of Mississippi), in 2010. He currently chairs the Executive Committee of the International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF), the leading comics studies conference in the US. Alaniz has written and published expansively on disability in the comics medium, especially in the superhero genre. In addition to finishing work on Death, Disability and the Superhero, he has begun work on another book, tentatively titled Disability in Euro-American Alternative Comics. He also published extensively in International Journal of Comic Art and via Comics Forum.


http://surface.syr.edu/bts_conf/2013/Presentations/23