Concurrent Panel Session Two

Abstract Title

It Started With a School: The use of geography in Deaf and Mutant Culture

Presenter Information

Courtney BlissFollow

Start Date

6-4-2018 10:30 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 11:20 AM

Abstract

In my thesis, Reframing Normal: The Inclusion of Deaf Culture in the X-Men Comic Books, I perform a Deaf reading of the comics. During the over fifty-year history of The X-Men comic books and the numerous stories told within the various series, the mutants have been intentionally written as metaphors for how ethnic, racial, sexual, religious, and cultural minorities are treated in the United States. During that same time, the writers also unintentionally mirror deaf individuals and Deaf Culture in their portrayal of mutants and X-Men. Considering the vast number of stories in existence, I focus on the early works of Stan Lee, Grant Morrison’s time as author of New X-Men, Joss Whedon’s time as author of Astonishing X-Men, and Matt Fraction’s time as author of Uncanny X-Men. In this thesis, I perform a close reading of these four authors’ works and compare them to the history of the deaf and Deaf in America.

In the first chapter, “It Started With a School”, I look at how the two groups use geography. Both cultures can trace their history back to a specific location, a residential school just for their population. Two schools, Gallaudet University in the Deaf community, and the Xavier Institute for the X-Men, have evolved to become something more. Both institutions are a “base” for their community and Culture. They are somewhere individuals can feel “normal” and do not have to hide who they truly are, as well as centers of research and outreach to the dominant community.

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Apr 6th, 10:30 AM Apr 6th, 11:20 AM

It Started With a School: The use of geography in Deaf and Mutant Culture

In my thesis, Reframing Normal: The Inclusion of Deaf Culture in the X-Men Comic Books, I perform a Deaf reading of the comics. During the over fifty-year history of The X-Men comic books and the numerous stories told within the various series, the mutants have been intentionally written as metaphors for how ethnic, racial, sexual, religious, and cultural minorities are treated in the United States. During that same time, the writers also unintentionally mirror deaf individuals and Deaf Culture in their portrayal of mutants and X-Men. Considering the vast number of stories in existence, I focus on the early works of Stan Lee, Grant Morrison’s time as author of New X-Men, Joss Whedon’s time as author of Astonishing X-Men, and Matt Fraction’s time as author of Uncanny X-Men. In this thesis, I perform a close reading of these four authors’ works and compare them to the history of the deaf and Deaf in America.

In the first chapter, “It Started With a School”, I look at how the two groups use geography. Both cultures can trace their history back to a specific location, a residential school just for their population. Two schools, Gallaudet University in the Deaf community, and the Xavier Institute for the X-Men, have evolved to become something more. Both institutions are a “base” for their community and Culture. They are somewhere individuals can feel “normal” and do not have to hide who they truly are, as well as centers of research and outreach to the dominant community.