It’s always nice to see the growing trend in academic discussion of comics. A new generation of comic book fans is going to university, more than happy to engage with comics in all manner of ways. These discussions help us appreciate comics in new ways, and hopefully open up new ideas and encourage new readers. Below we have Scott Jeffrey, an academic from Stirling University who is working on a thesis about superhero comics, who is looking to talk to some comic readers as part of his research. Please read on and, if you live in the central belt, consider helping Scott out!
Since the appearance of Superman in 1938 the DC and Marvel Universes have grown to encompass a wide range of superhuman beings. Whether through alien biology, evolutionary mutation, human-machine fusion, or radioactive spider bite, superhero comics have thrived on the notion of humans and humanoids developing fantastic powers, and the rights and responsibilities that such powers entail.
Meanwhile, for many current philosophers, the question of what it means to be human is more pressing than ever. For such authors current advances in genetic engineering, nanotechnology, robotics , neuroscience and more are leading us towards a ‘posthuman’ future: a world of beings so technologically advanced and enhanced as to no longer be recognizably human. For some this is to be embraced; for others to be avoided.
My research investigates how superhero comics have dealt with such ideas in relation to historical theories of how the posthuman might be achieved. I am looking for comic book readers to interview about his topic, whether you are actively interested in the idea of human technological enhancement or just a fan of superhero comics generally (or both!).
For any questions or further details please contact me, Scott Jeffery, on: firstname.lastname@example.org