holy men in tights

a superheroes conference
Holy Men in TightsAt my institute there once was an anthropological project on superhero-comics and the like in the making, but never took off—I will dig up the material from the past and prey on it. Now a conference on the new gods will take place down under:

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?

This interdisciplinary conference will address the varying roles, identities, and social functions that these enduring beings serve. A diversity of approaches will be undertaken including: 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; serial form and the cliff hanger; the resurgence in the cult of superpowers in recent cinema; the supervillain; the super-collective; super-auteurs (e.g. Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Tezuka Osamu, Grant Morrison); superhero universes (e.g. Matrix, Star Wars); fan culture and superheroes; the science and physics of the superhero; ancient superheroes; and the ‘hero’ who isn’t ‘super’.

The conference will be held between 9th-12th June 2005 and is hosted by the Cinema Studies Program, School of Art History, Cinema, Classics & Archaeology, University of Melbourne.
via ludology

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