CFP: Female Superheroes

From “A” like Aquagirl to “Z” like Zatana. More than 200 female superheroes have been around for the last 70 years. It all started with Fletcher Hanks’s minor character Fantomah in the 1940s Fiction House’s Jungle Comics #2 and from that moment on the seal was broken. Female superhero after superhero made their appearances on paper as well as on screen. These female superheroes were simultaneously shaping and mirroring society; with the rise of second wave feminism some of these female characters changed as well. Suddenly, they could be more self-assured and more forceful; Marvel Girl transformed from an average superhero to the very powerful Phoenix. Later on, the years 2010/2011 witnessed a huge transformation in the graphic novels realms. Marvel, DC, and other publishers reinvented their superhero franchises; new alliances and relationships were formed, former friends became enemies and lovers who had been an item for decades were suddenly reassigned to other love interests. This new development in the graphic novel universes desperately calls for a close investigation.
Times have changed since the first comics became a mass medium in the 1920s. And while fans’ opinions differ greatly about the advantages and disadvantages of these reboots, it must be acknowledged that this will not only be a very exciting, but also eye-opening time for laymen and scholars alike. What kind of changes will their beloved characters have to endure? How will these new superheroes be presented? Are they still going to mimic society or are they trying to push society to the next level? How should these reinterpretations be assessed? What is gained and what is lost, not only for these superheroes, but also for popular culture?
While DC started its revamp in September 2011, Marvel started his in spring 2012. This volume would focus on the reinvention of the female superheroes, and therefore, it will be the first of its kind.

This publication aims to examine these heroines in literature, art, and other media to question issues concerning sexuality, gender, identity, social change and feminism. It will provide an interdisciplinary stage for the development of innovative and creative research and examine this vital and complex female protagonist in all her various manifestations and cultural meanings.

What to Send:

300 – 500 word abstracts (or complete articles, if available) and CVs should be submitted by June 1, 2013. If an abstract is accepted for the collection, a full draft of the essay (5000 – 8000 words) will be required by December 1, 2013.

Abstracts and final articles should be submitted to: receipt of the abstracts will be send within one week. In case you do not receive an email, please resend your proposal.

Nadine Farghaly

from H-net

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