Tertulia – Sabine LeBel on Superheroes

Tertulias Fredericton is back this fall with a pop culture edition. Our last Tertulia talk this year will be with Sabine LeBel on Superheroes.
Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 7:30pm (Atlantic time)
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Sabine LeBel is an Assistant Professor in the Culture and Media Studies Department at the University of New Brunswick Fredericton. Working in the area of environmental media studies, her research is in the areas of waste, affect, and the visual. Her research has been published in Globalizations, NANO: North American Notes Online, and Canadian Women Studies/ les cahiers de la femme, among others. She also has an art practice, mostly consisting of video work, with pieces screening internationally at Inside Out Festival (Toronto), Out on Screen (Vancouver), and Cineffable (Paris), among others. In 2016, with Casey Burkholder, she started the Fredericton Feminist Film Collective, dedicated to making, screening and talking about works by and for queers, trans folks and women.
About the talk
This paper on superheroes has 2 origin stories. The first one relates to my past research on superhero films and the special effects body. In that project, I ask why superhero films deal with the most regressive aspects of superhero narratives, especially when compared to comics and other media, and especially with regards to gender. The second origin story relates to my therapist using the term “empath” in a therapy session. I was astonished to find out that the term had left the realms of science fiction, like Star Trek’s Deanna Troi, and entered serious medical discourse. The figure of the empath has a long and storied tradition in superhero comics, with the Marvel Database cataloguing 237 instances. Indigenous feminists, like Tina Ngata, argue that white women’s displays of empathy can work to decenter the lives of racialized women. In this paper, I focus on how the tropes of white femininity and empathy play out through the character of Jean Gray in X-men movies.
Milda’s Pizza is supporting Tertulias Fredericton this fall with a $3 discount on 10 inch pizzas on Tertulia night and free delivery 5 minutes from the cafe.
What is a tertulia? A tertulia can be described as a kind of philosophy café where participants talk about big thinkers, artists and ideas. This winter and spring, Tertulias Fredericton has put together a series on activists and social movements that have shaped our lives and allowed us to imagine a better future.
Tertulias Fredericton is supported by the NB Media Co-op, publisher of videos of the Tertulia talks.
For more information, visit Tertulias on Facebook or contact: fredericton.tertulia@gmail.com.

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