Over at Thought Balloonists, Charles Hatfield announced that the University of Oregon will be holding an academic conference on superheroes this fall:
Understanding Superheroes” is conceived as an interdisciplinary multimedia event, held in conjunction with a simultaneous exhibition of original comic art at the UO’s recently refurbished Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.
This exhibition, Faster Than A Speeding Bullet, will feature over 150 pages of original superhero comic art from the 1940s to the present, with examples of key works by many major creators in the industry, including Neal Adams, Mike Allred, C.C. Beck, Gene Colan, Steve Ditko, Will Eisner, Bill Everett, Lou Fine, Ramona Fradon, Dave Gibbons, Don Heck, Carmine Infantino, J.G. Jones, Gil Kane, Jack Kirby, Joe Kubert, Mort Meskin, Frank Miller, Joe Orlando, George Perez, H.G. Peter, Mac Raboy, John Romita Sr., Alex Ross, Marie Severin, Bill Sienkiewicz, Matt Wagner, and Berni Wrightson.
Keynote Speakers include Danny Fingeroth (author of Superheroes on the Couch and Disguised as Clark Kent) and Charles Hatfield (author of Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature).
Guest Panelists include Kurt Busiek (author of numerous superhero titles for Marvel and DC, and creator of the award-winning Astro City series), Greg Rucka (co-creator of Gotham Central, White Out, Queen & Country, and many projects for Marvel and DC), and Gail Simone (writer on Marvel’s Deadpool and DC’s Birds of Prey, co-creator of Welcome To Tranquility for Wildstorm, and current Wonder Woman scribe).
They're also currently accepting proposals for 15-20 minute conference papers on "the implications of superhero fantasies for our understanding of such diverse topics as gender identity, queerness, theological yearning, and nationalist politics." Deadline is June 15.