I’m “super” excited to announce the publication of the new book of which I am apart, The Ages of Superman: Essays on the Man of Steel in Changing Times, edited by Joseph J. Darowski.
It sounds like shameless self-promotion, however, I don’t make any profits from contributing to this book… oh, the joys of academic publishing! Let’s just say this project is the manifestation of some of my deepest passions: showing how young people do have the power to counter authority and express agency, a long established obsession with Superman comics, a strange curiosity about the 1960s, and a desire to understand Spanish history in relation to a broader context. I wrote this chapter during the summer of 2011, while attending the 15th of May protests in Madrid, researching in the mornings, and hanging out with other “indignados” in the evenings.
My chapter, “Truth, Justice, and the American Way in Franco’s Spain”, explores questions of agency and youth in the everyday lives of young people growing up under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco in the long 1960s. Last year, I presented on this topic at the 42nd Annual Conferences of the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies held at the University of Lisbon. It’s a trip to the past, trying to understand Americanization, Fascists, young kids looking for something different, and how, for a moment, Superman represented something dangerous, queer, and distinctly “unnatural” when placed in the context of Fascist Spain.
A few chapters also found in this book that are especially attention grabbing for me:
- “Superman Says You Can Slap a Jap!”: The Man of Steel and Race Hatred in World War II” by Todd S. Munson
- “Supervillains and Cold War Tensions in the 1950s” by Lori Maguire
- “The Inflexible Girls of Steel: Subverting Second Wave Feminism in the Extended Superman Franchise” by Thomas C. Donaldson
- “Black Like Lois: Confronting Racism, Configuring African American Presence” by Christopher B. Zeichmann
You can find a short preview of my chapter here.