Session Title

Super Medieval! Visual Representations of "Medieval Superheroes"

Sponsoring Organization(s)

International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA) Student Committee

Organizer Name

Stephanie Marie Rushe Chapman

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Missouri-Columbia

Presider Name

Stephanie Marie Rushe Chapman

Paper Title 1

No Medieval Superhero Is an Island: A Case Study of Hedwig of Silesia

Presenter 1 Name

Allison McCann

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Pittsburgh

Paper Title 2

Defending Christianity: Constantine the Great in Fifteenth-Century Moldavia

Presenter 2 Name

Alice Isabella Sullivan

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Start Date

15-5-2015 10:00 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1145

Description

Modern-day superheroes, such as Superman and Captain America, are the descendants of a long tradition of positive super-beings, including the ancient Greek hero and demi-god Herakles, the Norse god Thor, and the biblical figures of Samson and Moses. These super-beings share many traits, such as extreme strength or another extraordinary power, a moral personality, the desire to fight against evil, an unusual birth/upbringing or traumatic origins, and dedication to their homeland. Many are the epitome of their culture’s views on masculinity (or femininity). Superheroes embody what we believe is the best in ourselves, and they offer reassurance in a complicated world. And yet, many super beings retain at least one human fault or weakness, such as Samson’s long hair or Superman’s weakness to kryptonite. This panel is dedicated to exploring visual depictions of ‘superheroes’ in all media and from both the western and eastern medieval world. Potential topics might include: saints, biblical figures, historical figures, mythic heroes, romance heroes, gods/goddesses, God, and Christ (the ultimate ‘superhero’), as well as ‘superhero sidekicks.’ Papers should speak to how the notion of ‘super’ is distinguished as extraordinary in medieval visual and material culture through either the representation of ‘superheroes’ or their actions.

Jennifer N. Grayburn

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May 15th, 10:00 AM

Super Medieval! Visual Representations of "Medieval Superheroes"

Schneider 1145

Modern-day superheroes, such as Superman and Captain America, are the descendants of a long tradition of positive super-beings, including the ancient Greek hero and demi-god Herakles, the Norse god Thor, and the biblical figures of Samson and Moses. These super-beings share many traits, such as extreme strength or another extraordinary power, a moral personality, the desire to fight against evil, an unusual birth/upbringing or traumatic origins, and dedication to their homeland. Many are the epitome of their culture’s views on masculinity (or femininity). Superheroes embody what we believe is the best in ourselves, and they offer reassurance in a complicated world. And yet, many super beings retain at least one human fault or weakness, such as Samson’s long hair or Superman’s weakness to kryptonite. This panel is dedicated to exploring visual depictions of ‘superheroes’ in all media and from both the western and eastern medieval world. Potential topics might include: saints, biblical figures, historical figures, mythic heroes, romance heroes, gods/goddesses, God, and Christ (the ultimate ‘superhero’), as well as ‘superhero sidekicks.’ Papers should speak to how the notion of ‘super’ is distinguished as extraordinary in medieval visual and material culture through either the representation of ‘superheroes’ or their actions.

Jennifer N. Grayburn