Behind the Mask: A Study of the Superhero

Superman, Batman, Captain America, Wonder Woman and Spiderman… these classic characters are the foundations of the modern superhero. Since their creation, these all-American icons have endured through decades of war, triumph, and scandal, constantly evolving to reflect the country’s changing values in a tumultuous world. From World War I and Vietnam, to Watergate and the tragedy of 9/11, these mythic heroes embody America’s deepest fears and greatest aspirations. In this course, students will study the impact that changing times has had on the evolution of the superhero and explore how this uniquely American mythology developed and where it is headed in the future.