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(Super)Heroes in the 21st-Century American Imagination

Organization: REDEN journal
Categories: Comparative, Genre & Form, Popular Culture, Gender & Sexuality, African-American, 20th & 21st Century, Adventure & Travel Writing, Children's Literature, Comics & Graphic Novels, Drama, Narratology, Poetry, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media
Event Date: 2023-04-15 Abstract Due: 2023-04-15

Special dossier | edited by Marica Orrù and Igor Juricevic


A fundamental element of the American imaginary, superhero and heroic narratives have seen a new apogee since the turn of the century. New and old heroes and heroines have populated popular culture, giving rise to a variety of texts that tackle diversity, nostalgia, and the need for imaginaries and narratives that help us deal with the struggles inherent to our current times.

This two-part dossier, co-edited by Marica Orrù and Igor Juricevic, will collect essays on (super)hero figures in twenty-first century US popular culture, with a specific focus on diversity, cross-genre texts, and transmedia representations.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Superhero franchise and transmedia representations
  • Diverse heroism and heroic feats: critical examinations of hero figures from gender / ethnic / queer perspectives
  • Game heroes: heroic configurations in videogames and board games
  • Fiction vs reality: social justice and the construction of real-life popular heroes
  • Heroic narratives and nostalgia
  • Comparative studies between US and foreign superheroes (as well as US adaptations of foreign figures or vice versa)
  • The material representation of superhero characters: merchandise, collectibles, toys and more
  • The use of superheroes in advertising and communication
  • The role of superhero narratives and figures in the construction of US national discourse
  • Cross-genre feats: heroes and heroines in horror and science fiction
  • Apocalyptic heroes: environmental / political / monstruous narratives
  • Nonhuman heroes in human narratives
  • Antihero and supervillain configurations
  • Superhero saturation: analysis of the overabundance of superhero narratives, franchises, and adaptations
  • Heroes and political representations: nationalism, exceptionalism, activism, and counter-narratives
  • Politically correctness and superheroes: how new inclusive trends have influenced the most recent heroes-related productions

Deadline for submission: March 15, 2023 | to be published in vol 5 no 1 (October 2023)

Deadline for submission: October 15, 2023 | to be published in vol 5 no 2 (May 2024)


Submission guidelines

REDEN accepts proposals of articles (6000–7000 words approx. including references) about any aspect related to the call. For any inquiry, refer to revista.reden@uah.es. Please, upload your full article to https://erevistas.publicaciones.uah.es/ojs/index.php/reden as a single file (.doc, .docx, .odt). Keep in mind that you will have to upload an abstract and keywords as well during the submission process.

You can find author guidelines here:

https://erevistas.publicaciones.uah.es/ojs/index.php/reden/about/submissions to prepare your paper, as indicated using the latest Chicago manual of style and author-date citation system.



Anna Marta Marini (chief editor)