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Comics and Sacred TextsReimagining Religion and Graphic Narratives$
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Assaf Gamzou and Ken Koltun-Fromm

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496819215

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496819215.001.0001

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The Dark Phoenix as “Promising Monster”

The Dark Phoenix as “Promising Monster”

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Teaching Marvel’s X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga

(p.153) Chapter Nine The Dark Phoenix as “Promising Monster”
Comics and Sacred Texts

Samantha Langsdale

University Press of Mississippi

This essay argues that mainstream superhero comics have real pedagogical potential and that the Dark Phoenix Saga in particular might be taught in ways which are both critical and creative. Through employing an interdisciplinary approach — including feminist analysis of Christian mysticism, as well as postmodern theories of corporeality—the character of Jean Grey/Phoenix may be interpreted in ways which critique hegemonic definitions of female sexuality as monstrous and which constructively challenge certain assumptions about agency, identity, and embodiment. Specifically, this essay explores theories of religious subjectivity that do not rely solely on agency as subversion and disruption of the hegemonic narrative. The essay employs different theories and notions, like that of promising monsters (among others), to encourage reading of the Dark Phoenix saga not only as a monological patriarchal narrative about the threat of female sexuality and corporeality, and the dangers of mystical religious subjectivity, but as a text full of narratives, agencies, interpretative and pedagogical possibilities.

Keywords:   feminist philosophy, monster studies, Agency, Embodiment, pedagogy

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