Not Just The American Way:
Screen Superheroes in National, International and Transnational Contexts

The figure of the superhero is primarily seen as an American one, dominated
by Marvel and DC comics and their adaptations across multiple media. These
superhero franchises operate across media networks within many of the
world’s global markets, influencing local representations of heroism and
being altered to meet local expectations of the superhero in turn. American
culture and, indeed, American superheroes play significant roles in these
phenomena and historically have often led the way in debates around the
representations around superheroes in culture. However, super-powered and
costumed heroes are not just American in origin; they appear in screen media
across many cultures, whether as the anti-social teenagers of Britain’s
Misfits, India’s alien-empowered Krrish or Japan’s Ultraman. This collection
examines super-heroes and heroines as they travel around the world,
exploring the figure of the superhero beyond the North American context. As
such, we are interested in the local, international and transnational
manifestations of superheroes, as well as in their reach beyond their
originating contexts. Furthermore, we are seeking papers on the importance
of the  superhero to global media markets.

Potential subjects include, but are not limited to:

Local and national superheroes outside the United States
US superheroes in global markets
Co-produced superheroes
Transmedia franchising and the superhero
Superheroes on TV
Iconography and aesthetics
The reception of the superhero
Gender, sexuality and ideology and the superhero
Marketing the superhero internationally
Geographically dislocated superheroes
Cultural specificity of the superhero
Special effects and the superhero in film and/or television
Superhero adaptations
Industrial and narrative origins
The geography of superheroes
International cultural flows and exchanges in superhero phenomena

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent no later than 31st July
2011 to: [log in to unmask]

Please see the blog for this project at

The collection will be edited by Rayna Denison, Derek Johnston and Rachel

Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: