1st Edition

Intersectional Feminist Readings of Comics Interpreting Gender in Graphic Narratives

Edited By Sandra Cox Copyright 2022
    ISBN 9780367704728
    190 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    May 31, 2023 by Routledge

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    ISBN 9780367704711
    190 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    Published September 21, 2021 by Routledge

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    Sale Price USD $170.00
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    ISBN 9781003146520
    190 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    Published September 20, 2021 by Routledge

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    Intersectional Feminist Readings of Comics collects several theoretically informed close reading of comics and graphic literature that apply an intersectional feminist lens to the interpretation of several contemporary North American graphic narratives.

    The essays examine use a range of interpretive lenses drawn from theoretical models used in contemporary aesthetics, media studies, and literary criticism to analyze mainstream figures like DC’s Catwoman and Marvel’s Miss America and Doctor Strange, to contextualize historical and speculative comics by Indigenous American illustrators, and to explicate autography by critically lauded Jewish, queer and female cartoonists. In the first half of the book, the chapters examine ways in which superhero comics and the cinematic and televisual adaptations thereof, reify, revise and reject gender parity, systemic misogyny and heteropatriarchy through visual and textual rhetorics of representation. In the second part of the volume, the chapters look at the ways that feminist interpretive practices illuminate the radical work undertaken by cartoonists from historically marginalized communities in the U.S. and Canada. Across both halves, readers will find applications of longstanding feminist critical traditions, like ecofeminism, as well as new intersectional extrapolations of narratology, autobiographical studies, and visual rhetoric, which have been applied to the selected comics in insightful and innovative ways.

    This is a lively and varied collection suitable for students and scholars in gender studies, cultural studies, media studies and literary studies.

    Introduction: Drawn to and from gender: some of what it means to critique comics through intersectional feminist theory Sandra Cox

    Part I: Racialized Heroes and Sexualized Villains

    1. Contested adaptations: legacies of orientalism, the she-hero, and Hollywood’s diversity aesthetic in Marvel’s Doctor Strange (2016) Michael Reinhard and Monica Roxanne Sadler

    2. On the fringes and tassels of respectability: Catwoman and censoring the femme form A. Luxx Mishou 

    3. Queer, Latina, and Punching Nazis: a New America breaking borders Ande Davis

    4. Unweaving the World: militant eco-feminism in the anti-fairy tale Beautiful Darkness Shane Gomes

    Part II: National Histories and Personal Autographies

    5. Drawn into being: the transformative voices of Native American and First Nations Women in comics and visual narratives Nicole Dib

    6. Comics and gendered subjectivity: the multifaceted truth of Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoirs Cody Shrum

    7 Love, lust and lucre in Leela Corman’s Unterzakhn Alex Link


    Sandra Cox is an Assistant Professor of English at Southeast Missouri State University, where she teaches courses in American literature by writers from historically marginalized communities. She holds a doctorate in literary studies from the University of Kansas (2011). Her first monograph, entitled An Ethics of Reading, was published in 2015. Dr. Cox has written articles on comics published in The Journal of Comics and Graphic Novels and twice in Watchung Review and articles on feminist literary criticism published in the journals Assuming Gender, Postcolonial Interventions, Parlour, Red Feather, and [Inter]sections. She has also contributed chapters on visual media and/or gender studies to the following edited collections, including Where is Adaptation (2018), Weaving the Legacy: Remembering Paula Gunn Allen (2017), and Bodies and Culture: Discourses, Communities, Representations (2012).

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