[csaa-forum] superheroes conference

Angela Ndalianis angelan at unimelb.edu.au
Thu Apr 1 17:59:28 CST 2004

“Holy Men in Tights!"– a Superheroes Conference

Superheroes and supervillains – whether human or god, born or created, 
product of nature or creature of science – they have existed as cultural 
icons for centuries. Why have they endured? How have they transformed over 
the decades? What is their cultural or mythic function? Where does the hero 
end and the superhero begin?

We call for papers or panel sessions that address the varying roles, 
identities, and social functions that these enduring beings serve. 
Superheroes and Supervillains may be interpreted through the lens of:
    * historical approaches;
    * censorship codes;
    * industry and franchise differentiation (e.g. DC vs. Marvel Comics);
    * mythology;
    * national and cultural specificity;
    * gender identity and power shifts;
    * ethnicity, class and race
    * diverse media formats (cinema, comics, computer games, television) 
and their distinctive versions of superheroes;
    * the female superhero (Wonderwoman, Catwoman, Jean Grey, Sable, Martha 
Washington, Sailer Moon, Buffy, Xena);
    * serial form and the cliff hanger;
    * the current resurgence in the cult of superpowers in recent cinema;
    * the supervillain;
    * the super-collective;
    * super-auteurs (e.g. Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Tezuka Osamu, 
Massimiliano Frezzato);
    * superhero universes (e.g. Matrix, Star Wars);
    * fan culture and superheroes;
    * the science and physics of the superhero;
    * the 'hero' who isn't 'super'.
(Super)hero (and their villainous counterpart) examples can include (but 
are not limited to):
    * the comic book superheroes from classics like Batman, Superman, 
Spiderman, Catwoman, Captain American, and X-Men, to revisionist and 
anti-(super)hero types found in the Invisibles, Dark Knight Returns, 
Watchmen, Preacher, Sandman, Punisher, Wolverine;
    * television (e.g. Buffy, Angel, Stargate SG-1, Alias, Dark Angel, Xena);
    * animation (Justic League of America; He-Man; PowerPuff Girls, Silver 
Surfer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
    * manga and anime (Astroboy, Prince Planet, Vampire D, the Zoids, Ikari 
Shinji, Akira, Pokemon);
    * computer game hero types: Lara Croft, Final Fantasy heroes, Superhero 
Quake mods, ;
    * ancient and mythological heroes (e.g. Odysseus, Hercules, Odin, Thor);
    * samurai warriors, Chinese super(natural) heroes, and Asian heroes in 
myth, literature, and visual media;
    * the cult of the C16th-C17th saint & martyr as superhero.

We also welcome contributions from fields other than cinema, media, popular 
culture and cultural studies. E.g History, Asian Studies, Classics, Art 
History, Science, Medicine.

The deadline for paper proposals and panel sessions is June 5th 2004. The 
conference will be held between 10th-12th June 2005 and hosted by the 
Cinema Studies Program, School of Art History, Cinema, Classics 
&Archaeology, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Send proposals to: Angela Ndalianis at angelan at unimelb.edu.au, or mail to:
Assoc. Prof. Angela Ndalianis,
Head of Cinema Studies,
School of Art History, Cinema, Classics & Archaeology,
Elisabeth Murdoch Building,
University of Melbourne,
Victoria 3010. Australia.

Associate Professor Angela Ndalianis
Head of Cinema Studies Program
School of Art History, Cinema, Classics & Archaeology
University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010
Ph: + 61-3 8344 6851
Fax: + 61-3 8344 5563
email: angelan at unimelb.edu.au

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