Gender and Sexuality in Comics and Manga (Panel / In-Person)

Special Session
Film and Media Studies / Visual and Arts

Charles Hatfield (California State University - Northridge)
char@****.com (Log-in to reveal)

This session delves into the intricate interplay between gender, sexuality, and visual storytelling within the realms of comics and manga. Examining diverse representations across genres, creators, and cultures, we explore how these mediums challenge and reshape conventional narratives surrounding gender and sexual identity. From subversive characterizations to nuanced explorations of intimacy and desire, comics and manga offer rich terrain for analyzing the complexities of contemporary gender and sexual politics. Through scholarly analysis, creative expression, and critical dialogue, this session seeks to amplify marginalized voices, foster inclusive perspectives, and deepen our understanding of the transformative potential of comics and manga in envisioning more expansive, equitable representations of gender and sexuality. Join us as we navigate beyond binaries, traversing the dynamic landscapes of visual storytelling to uncover new insights into the fluidity and diversity of human experience.

This session aims to investigate the complex intersections of gender, sexuality, and identity within the realms of comics and manga, two dynamic visual mediums that have played significant roles in shaping cultural perceptions and representations of gender and sexuality. From subverting traditional gender norms to exploring diverse expressions of sexuality, comics and manga offer rich narratives and visual landscapes that invite critical examination and discussion.

Topics for discussion may include but are not limited to:

- Queer representations and LGBTQ+ identities in comics and manga, including the portrayal of LGBTQ+ superheroes, characters, and narratives.

- Intersectional approaches to gender and sexuality in graphic storytelling, including representations of race, ethnicity, disability, and class.

- Feminist critiques and gender subversions in comics and manga, challenging stereotypical portrayals of masculinity and femininity.

- Eroticism, consent, and the depiction of intimacy and desire in graphic narratives, exploring the boundaries between empowerment and exploitation.

- The role of fan communities and online platforms in reshaping and reimagining gender and sexual identities through fan fiction, fan art, and cosplay.

By centering gender and sexuality within the context of comics and manga studies, this session seeks to amplify diverse voices and perspectives within the field, fostering dialogue and critical inquiry into the ways in which these visual mediums reflect, resist, and reimagine notions of gender and sexual identity in contemporary society.