CFP: Edited collection on Familial Influences on Superheroes (30 Apr 2019)

Call for Submissions: Edited collection on Familial Influences on Superheroes


Areas of analysis: American Studies, Cultural Studies, Fan Studies, Film and Television Studies, Media Studies, Gender Studies, Popular Culture Studies, Media Industries Studies


Editor: Jim Iaccino


This text will examine the role that the family plays on the development of the superhero as portrayed in radio, comics, graphic novels, television series, and feature films.  Many superheroes have experienced the trauma of losing (a) parent(s), which sets them apart from others.  Thus, the individuals that the superheroes gravitate towards become an integral part of their lives, to the point where they form a necessary and vital “familial network” of connections that would either replace those that were lost or never fully established.  This network ranges from “substitute” parents/guardians as well as siblings and relatives, to significant others and even more extended members comprising superhero teams.  Each chapter will focus on a specific superhero and how s/he has been impacted by the aforementioned familial figures.  Through this collection of essays, readers will understand the psychological makeup of superheroes much better and see that behind every hero is a family member(s) encouraging them to use their powers for the benefit of humanity.


Besides Batman, potential superheroes to be covered across a number of media (radio, comics, television and film) include, but are not limited to:


  • Superman
  • Supergirl
  • The Flash
  • Green Arrow
  • Wonder Woman
  • Spider-Man
  • Captain America
  • Iron Man
  • The Hulk
  • Thor
  • Black Widow
  • Scarlet Witch
  • X-Men
  • Fantastic Four
  • The Avengers
  • Justice League of America
  • Teen Titans


We already have an agreement with McFarland Press to do this collection, so all that remains is securing the contributions in a timely fashion for a planned text publication in early 2021.


The deadline for proposals of 500 words is April 30, 2019.  Please email your abstract and a brief bio to  Please put “Familial Influences Abstract” in the subject line.  If an abstract is selected for the collection, full essays of 5,000-7,000 words will be due by September 1, 2019.

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