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Unstable Masks: Whiteness and American Superhero Comics

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A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2020

In Unstable Masks: Whiteness and American Superhero Comics, Sean Guynes and Martin Lund bring together a series of essays that contextualize the histories and stakes of whiteness studies, superhero comics, and superhero studies for academics, fans, and media-makers alike. The volume illustrates how the American comic book superhero is fundamentally a figure of white power and white supremacy and ultimately calls for diversity in superhero comics as well as a democratized media culture.
Contributors not only examine superhero narratives but also delve into the production, distribution, audience, and reception of those narratives, highlighting the imbrication of forces that have helped to create, normalize, question, and sometimes even subvert American beliefs about whiteness and race. Unstable Masks considers the co-constitutive nature of identity, representation, narrative, production and consumption, and historical and cultural contexts in forging the stereotypes that decide who gets to be a superhero and who gets to be American on the four-color pages of comic books.


ISBN-13: 9780814255636

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Ohio State University Press

Publication Date: 01-07-2020

Pages: 300

Product Dimensions: 8.90h x 6.00w x 0.70d

Series: New Suns: Race, Gender, and Sexuality

Sean Guynes is a PhD candidate in twentieth-century American Literature and Culture at Michigan State University. Martin Lund is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Society, Culture and Identity at Malmö University.