Super Skills, Super Reading

Literacy and Television Superheroes


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About the Book

What comes to mind when you think about superheroes? Strength, bravery, and heroism are common answers. However, superheroes do not only have physical strength, but they also have mental strengths and skills. Superheroes tend to have intelligence and detection skills which allow them to develop other skills. In this analysis of superhero literacy aimed at students, the connection between superhero media and larger theories of literacy are explored. The author uses six superhero television shows to show how literacy is portrayed in superhero media and how it reflects and shapes cultural ideas of literacy. The shows covered are Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Daredevil.

About the Author(s)

Perry Dantzler is an assistant professor in English and a faculty affiliate for integrative learning at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Georgia. She has worked extensively on the field of new literacy studies which she employs as a theoretical and empirical lens to examine current media and culture.

Bibliographic Details

Perry Dantzler
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 255
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7835-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4157-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 10
1. How Does a Superhero Read? 33
2. Arrow and Specialized Literacies 48
3. Scientific Literacies as the Scientific Method in The Flash 67
4. Gotham as a Place Mired in ­Print-Privileged Literacy 85
5. Literacy as Agency and Equality in Jessica Jones 100
6. How Ethnicities and Local Communities Shape Literacy in Luke Cage 117
7. Daredevil and Disabilities 136
8. Literacies for Evil Purposes: Villains and Antiheroes 151
9. Sidekicks and Mentors: Literacies from the Sidelines 168
10. Places for Literacy Development: Caves and Workshops 185
11. How the Average Citizen Reads in Superhero Worlds 201
Conclusion 217
Chapter Notes 221
References 229
Index 243