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Talk: Spider-man India: Comic Books and Translating American Mythologies of Heroism
Date: 22 February 2012 

The American Studies Programme, School of Modern Languages and Cultures cordially invites you to the following talk :

Spider-man India: Comic Books and Translating American Mythologies of Heroism

Dr. Shilpa Davé

Date: Wednesday 22 February 2012
Time: 4.30pm - 6pm
Venue: KK813
Language: English

In 2004, Gotham Comics (located in Bangalore India) was created as an offshoot of Marvel Comics. Their first publication Spider-man India featured a revisionist origin story of the superhero that asked “What if Spider-man was an Indian teenager and grew up in India?” The alternative racial and geographical landscape influence the development of Spider-man down to the details of the emblematic costume which feature an Indian dhoti in addition to the recognizable red and blue form-fitting body suit. My essay explores questions about what national values does Spider-man represent in India and how does an iconic American hero translate (with Indian writers and Indian artists) outside of the United States.

Shilpa Davé is an Assistant Professor of American Studies at Brandeis University. She earned her Bachelors degree at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and her Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  Her areas of expertise include Ethnic Studies, Asian Americans and South Asians in the U.S., and she teaches courses on race and gender issues, immigration narratives, and studies in popular culture.  Dr. Davé is the co-editor of the collection East Main Street: Asian American Popular Culture (NYU Press 2005) and she is the author of Indian Accents: Brown Voice and Racial Performance in American TV and Film (forthcoming from University of Illinois Press)  She is currently working on projects about South Asians and graphic novels and the popular phenomena of the Spelling Bee in American culture.

All are welcome. For enquiries, please contact Dr. Gruenewald at

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