Week 12 Respond to classmates FINAL PROJECT: proposal drafts
Instruction: Respond to two classmates on one-page Reply thickly to two other students’ threads
1. Melissa Fuchs
Final Project Proposal
Supercrip: Disability Themes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Humanities works within pop culture fill many roles including their ability to provide entertaining distraction but many works like the films contained under the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or the MCU as it is often referred also contains an assortment of underscored disability themes. The observance and analysis of how the Marvel Cinematic Universe that homes in on characters within the Avengers wheelhouse provides an opportunity to apply disability studies theories to one of the biggest franchised humanities series. Studying the conditions of disability within superhero works like those presented by Marvel is a dual-purpose quest to celebrate what if any positive disability representation exists. There also exists tremendous opportunities to comment on potential disability omission and provide constructive criticism for the future of the MCU as they embark on a new chapter in the wake of Avengers: Endgame.
My project will take the form of a paper as I blend a sample of films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and research articles and apply various disability studies and course concepts. My paper aims to observe and analyze what disability representation exists in the MCU, but also comment on how these disabled characters are portrayed either as heroes or villains. Additionally, I plan to look at whether the disabilities are under or over-played and tackle the presence of harmful disability tropes and stereotypes.
Jackson, C. (2018, August 27). Superhero movies should stop using disabilities as problematic plot devices. The Mary Sue – The Nexus of Pop Culture and the Uncharted Universe. Retrieved November 13, 2020, from https://www.themarysue.com/superhero-movies-and-disability/
This article adds more substantial discussion to the function of disabled characters in superhero films and would bolster my analysis of the MCU’s approach to disability representation.
Pirkis, J., Blood, R. W., Francis, C., & McCallum, K. (2006). On-Screen Portrayals of Mental Illness: Extent, Nature, and Impacts. Journal of Health Communication, 11(5), 523-541. doi:10.1080/10810730600755889
This article will be a beneficial source when looking at disability stereotypes that may be present in the MCU.
Ratto, C. M. (2017). Not superhero accessible: The temporal stickiness of disability in superhero comics. Disability Studies Quarterly, 37(2). https://doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v37i2.5396
This article provides a helpful overview of the divide in how select disabled superhero characters are presented in the original comic book source material versus how these same characters are portrayed in the cinematic adaptations. The article discusses how the disabled characters of Hawkeye, Iron Man, and Thor/Donald Blake are portrayed in the Marvel comics as opposed to the movies.
Wiswell, J. (2018, October 2). The expendable disabled heroes of marvel’s infinity war. Uncanny Magazine. Retrieved November 13, 2020, from https://uncannymagazine.com/article/the-expendable-disabled-heroes-of-marvels-infinity-war/
This article provides a supplemental discussion of possible examples of disability representation within the Marvel films specifically.
2. Elizabeth Walker
Working title: Disability Art Across Settings and in the Media
Thesis statement: Though disability art is becoming more mainstream, it still has a long way to come to acceptance and widespread viewership – and to come out of the institutional setting.
My project will take the form of a paper. Expanding on my fieldwork project, I would like to look at art by people with disabilities as it is shared on social media or in traditional media landscapes, and what kind of settings it is done in. I also plan to hold a brief discussion regarding the way social media has affected disability art – is it a positive relationship; or are there nuances that make the relationship positive, but with touches of negativity (I am assuming that I will find that it is positive, but as with anyone who puts themselves out on the internet, they are opening themselves to critique and harsh comments). As I did with my fieldwork, I would like to include examples of the art I find to add texture to the project. Talking about art is one thing, but being able to see it is highly important! I also plan to bring in the work by Solvang to discuss what is art therapy vs. disability art vs. outsider art vs. disability aesthetics (or a combination of the four).
Solvang, P. K. (2017). Between art therapy and disability aesthetics: A sociological approach for understanding the intersection between art practice and disability discourse. Disability & Society, 33(2), 238-253. doi:10.1080/09687599.2017.1392929
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