Sunday, February 20, 2011

A few quick things

I'm just having another quick cup of coffee before getting reading for a day of meetings.

I did come across this post linking to 18th century animal illustrations from 'Collection des Animaux Quadrupèdes'. The animals have peculiarly human expressions. We'll be studying anthropomorphism in Children's Literature this semester, as it underpins much of the great work: Winnie-the-Pooh, Peter Rabbit etc. Who doesn't love teaching Winnie-the-Pooh?

We also have our new CFP for a conference in August.


12-13 August 2011

Monash University, Melbourne

Sponsored by: The Centre for the Book, Monash University

In 2010, the 600th issue of Wonder Woman celebrated the Amazonian superhero’s longevity in print media. To mark the occasion, the issue reinvented the superhero’s iconic costume to make it less revealing, introducing dark trousers and a blue, starred jacket. This shift to more practical, less sexualised wear arguably reflects changing attitudes about gender and the growing female presence in the comics industry. Nonetheless, the change prompted some controversy online amongst fan communities, again highlighting the problematic history of the representation of women as powerful figures.

‘Tights and Tiaras: Female Superheroes and Media Cultures’ is a one and a half day interrogation of the construct of the ‘superhero’ as female and more generally of the representation of powerful female figures in fantasy and science fiction. Looking at a range of print and visual media, papers will explore the range of female characters in superhero narratives, the material history of the female superhero, and how visual and textual constructs of female heroes - and anti-heroes - have been re-imagined, re-invented and re-packaged over time.

Possible topics include:

The representation of female superheroes in print and visual media – in comics, comix, graphic novels, novels, short stories, fan fiction, film, television, and other media forms

Distribution of narratives and images of female superheroes across multiple genres and media platforms

The female hero quest

Deconstructing the superhero trope – studies in feminism, patriotism, politics, race, satire, comedy, and so on

Constructs of the female supervillain

Superhero fashions, including costumes, cosplay and sartorial signifiers

Female collaboration in comics

Female comics artists: historical and contemporary

Female comics audiences and fan communities

Analysis of the institutional, commercial and licensing histories of female superhero properties

The construction of powerful women in fantasy and science fiction genres

Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words, accompanied by a brief bio, by emailed attachment to Dr Rebecca-Anne Do Rozario ( The deadline for abstracts is 11 April, 2011.

We're really looking forward to this one.

One of the members of the reading group behind the conference also has a blog, Silk for Caldé. He just published a post on his new Lisa Snellings-Clark poppets, which are brilliant. Snellings-Clark also has a special edition range of poppets for The Graveyard Book. I'm still kicking myself for not getting her Gaiman rat.

Last, the ERA 2012 Ranked Outlets Public Consultation is open. Please have a look. This is about the ranking of scholarly journals. There are some brilliant scholarly journals, like Marvels & Tales, languishing at a C ranking for no logical reason and this is an opportunity to provide feedback and an argument for a better ranking. You can register at:

Universities are already starting to advise academics not to publish in C ranked journals. This is potentially very damaging, particularly to smaller (at least in Australia) and newer fields of research.

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