Posted by: Doc Comics | March 10, 2010


For the midterm exam, there will be a multiple-choice and mix-n-match section over specific course readings, and a short answer essay question.  You will be able to choose one of the following 3 short answer essay questions.  Be sure you can provide a concise 1-2 page response that draws upon specific course readings, concepts, and arguments.

  1. In an attempt to distinguish and define the superhero and it’s rhetorical/ideological functions, we read works by Reynolds, Coogan, and Lawrence & Jewett.  Are superheroes allegories for cherished American ideals and identity, or are they fascistic flirtations with antidemocratic values and impulses?  Briefly overview their major arguments, identifying their points of agreement and disagreement over the rhetorical/ideological functions of superheroes.
  2. Selections from the course reading packet have explored the superhero’s mythic functions and/or the rhetorical functions of myths. Briefly identify your preferred definitional features of mythic rhetoric, and illustrate these using either your favorite superhero or one of the graphic novels read thus far.  What’s so darned American about superheroes?  Be sure to explain and justify your view of superheroes as a uniquely American mythology or malleable genre (“multiplicity” says Jenkins) of fantasy culturetypes?
  3. One of the key issues the course explores is the relationship between superheroes and hegemonic Ideology.  Briefly define ‘ideology’ and ‘hegemony’ then answer: Are superheroes champions or challengers of the status quo Ideology?  What narrative conventions make possible counter-hegemonic critique?  Use specific readings and one of the graphic novels to support your answer.


    • …and superstudents too, eh, Sarah? 🙂


    For 20points extra credit, type a 2 page answer for *each* of the short-answer essay questions that you DID NOT select for your midterm.

    due date: Friday April 9

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