I presented at the 2018 Network Detroit conference at Wayne State University. This was my first presentation in the region and in truth talking about my Florida themed work seemed a little odd. Not because it was not good work, but because as I move into this new position at MSU, I am seeking to vision projects that are rooted in my Michigan context. As I think about my DH work, I’m looking at frameworks that examine ideological links between people of color that can cross borders and capture ideology that unite the circumstances facing African-Americans. On the other hand, this work forced me to think about the structure and practice I used. I’m thankful for the great feedback I got from the participants.
I presented a paper at DragonCon 2018. Like the San Diego Comic-Con, DragonCon hosts an academic conference. The Comics and Popular Arts Conference (CPAC), not to be confused with Conservative Political Action Conference, allows scholars of popular culture and fans to interact. The official description is pretty good, "The Comics and Popular Arts Conference (CPAC) is an annual academic conference for the studies of comics and the popular arts, including science/speculative fiction and fantasy literature, film, and other media, comic books, manga, graphic novels, anime, gaming, etc. CPAC presentations are peer-reviewed, based in scholarly research."
For this presentation I wanted to follow up on an idea that I have not had the time to develop, mainly, I'm concerned with the construction of racial identity within the superhero structure. In particular the idea of an African-American liberatory vision versus a white vision in the structure of the Black Panther stories. My colleague Martin Lund has written extensively about racial identity in comics. His article on the Black Panther for The Comics Grid: A Journal of Comics Scholarship really highlights the Cold War politics underpinning the postcolonial imagery in Black Panther's 1966 appearance in the Fantastic Four. Hence my "Colonizer Scum" comment above. Ultimately, the idea of what a liberatory vision for the superhero must content with the discourse built within the superhero that emphasize the stabilization of a status quo with regressive norms for minority bodies.