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Sunday, July 15 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
Comics Arts Conference Session #13: Super-Bodies: Overcoming Disability Through Superheroism

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Scott Daniel Boras (Arizona State University) examines the abject bodies of popular depictions of mutants, monsters, and aliens as they emerge in relation to key historical events, and also dominant social tensions that play out on the body. Ultimately, these bodies are depicted as being both utopian and dystopian at the same time, highlighting how even our greatest heroes are also often monsters. Rachelanne Smith (California State University, Sacramento) makes the case that the superhero is directly linked to the classic literary tradition of the flawed hero. The defects in the hero are the means through which we can better relate to and accept him. Using Professor X as a case study, Smith explores the relation between the strength of the hero and his or her corresponding flaw or disability. José Alaniz (University of Washington, Seattle) examines how Marvel's The Human Fly -- "the wildest superhero ever-because he's real!" -- flouts the genre's usual conventions, possessing no superpowers but overcoming a devastating injury through sheer willpower, and simultaneously challenges and reaffirms accustomed notions of both superheroism and disability.

Sunday July 15, 2012 10:30am - 12:00pm PDT
Room 26AB

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