Deadline extended | (Super)Heroes in the 21st-Century American Imagination


A fundamental element of the American imaginary, superhero and heroic narratives have seen a new apogee since the turn of the century. New and old heroes and heroines have populated popular culture, giving rise to a variety of texts that tackle diversity, nostalgia, and the need for imaginaries and narratives that help us deal with the struggles inherent to our current times.

This two-part dossier, co-edited by Marica Orrù and Igor Juricevic, will collect essays on (super)hero figures in twenty-first century US popular culture, with a specific focus on diversity, cross-genre texts, and transmedia representations.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Superhero franchise and transmedia representations
  • Diverse heroism and heroic feats: critical examinations of hero figures from gender / ethnic / queer perspectives
  • Game heroes: heroic configurations in videogames and board games
  • Fiction vs reality: social justice and the construction of real-life popular heroes
  • Heroic narratives and nostalgia
  • Comparative studies between US and foreign superheroes (as well as US adaptations of foreign figures or vice versa)
  • The material representation of superhero characters: merchandise, collectibles, toys and more
  • The use of superheroes in advertising and communication
  • The role of superhero narratives and figures in the construction of US national discourse
  • Cross-genre feats: heroes and heroines in horror and science fiction
  • Apocalyptic heroes: environmental / political / monstruous narratives
  • Nonhuman heroes in human narratives
  • Antihero and supervillain configurations
  • Superhero saturation: analysis of the overabundance of superhero narratives, franchises, and adaptations
  • Heroes and political representations: nationalism, exceptionalism, activism, and counter-narratives
  • Politically correctness and superheroes: how new inclusive trends have influenced the most recent heroes-related productions

Extended deadline for submission: November 5, 2023 | to be published in vol 5 no 2 (May 2024)


Submission guidelines

REDEN accepts proposals of articles (6000–7000 words approx. including references) about any aspect related to the call. For any inquiry, refer to Please, upload your full article to as a single file (.doc, .docx, .odt). Keep in mind that you will have to upload an abstract and keywords as well during the submission process.

You can find author guidelines here: to prepare your paper, as indicated using the latest Chicago manual of style and author-date citation system.