Mini Seminar Course: Superheroes: The Gods Among and in Us
What is a superhero and what do they do for the people who imagine them? What are their antitheses, including villains, anti-heroes, and the regular human beings? What can they tell us about the cultures and times that created them? This class focuses on the superhero cultures of South Asia, East Asia, and the United States, considering figures traditionally categorized as part of the artificially-separated worlds of religion, mythology, literature, and popular culture. Special emphasis will be placed on comics, graphic novels, and films made in the United States and manga and anime from Japan. Class meetings will focus on visual representations of superheroes, supplemented by primary and secondary readings and extensive class discussion.
HISTART Concentration Distributions: Asia, Europe and the U.S., Medieval, Modern and Contemporary.
Textbooks/Other Materials: Students will be expected to procure a limited number of graphic novels and books, which will be determined by student votes at the beginning of the semester. All other materials will be made available in pdf or streaming format.
Course Requirements: There will be no quizzes. Students’ grades will be determined by participation, one short paper, in-class presentations, and a research paper.
Intended Audience: This class is open to all interested undergraduates. No background in art history, American Culture, or Asian Studies is assumed.