For my critical literary theory course during my first semester of grad school, I did a final paper looking at applications of queer theory as it applies to textual and subtextual queer perceptions of Batman.
You know, because I just love a challenge and the fun of blending my fannish interests with my academic ones.
At the end of it all, I came up with “Holy Homosexual Batman”: Queering the Caped Crusader via Text and Subtext. It was almost thirty pages long and super in-depth to make up for the fact that my professor wasn’t a comic person and needed introduction to the genre’s history and culture.
It is, in a word, my baby.
I have so many plans for this paper that it’s ridiculous.
I mentioned from the start that I wanted to share my list of references for y’all to look at and purchase from if you’re interested in working out your own academic thoughts on queerness as related to Batman and Robin. So if you’re interested, continue on!
(Note that all of the links to Amazon are affiliate links so consider buying some books, y’all!)
Pulp friction: Uncovering the golden age of gay male pulps edited by Michael Bronski
Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity by Judith Butler
DC Universe: Inheritance by Devin Grayson
The Science of Superheroes by Lois Gresh
The Golden Age of DC Comics: 1935-1956 by Paul Levitz
A critical introduction to queer theory by Nikki Sullivan
Seduction of the Innocent by Fredric Wertham
Comic book nation: The transformation of youth culture in America by Bradford W. Wright
Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-Creator Joe Shuster collected by Craig Yoe with Art by Joe Shuster.
The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture by Glen Weldon (Kindle Version)
“Towards a Truer Representation: Transphobic Casting Politics and the Cis-Gaze in Film” by Aryeh Conrad in Summer Research (2015): 239-259.
“The love that refuses to speak its name: examining queerbaiting and fan-producer interactions in fan cultures” (2015) by Cassandra M. Collier
“Queering Super-Manhood: The Gay Superhero in Contemporary Mainstream Comic Books” by Bob Lendrum in Journal for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology (2004): 70-74.
“Batman, Deviance, and Camp” by Andy Medhurst in The Superhero Reader. 237-251. (Note that I got my copy through JSTOR)
“Queer resistance, gender performance,and ‘coming out’ of the panel border sin Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III’s Batwoman: Elegy” by Paul Petrovic in Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (2011): 67076.
“Compulsory heterosexuality and lesbian existence” by Adrienne Rich in Signs 5.4 (1980): 631-660.
“From fan appropriation to industry reappropriation: the sexual identity of comic superheroes” by Gareth Schott in Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (2010): 17-29.
“Batman and the Twilight of the Idols: An Interview with Frank Miller” by Christopher Sharrett in The Many Lives of the Batman: Critical Approaches to a Superhero and his Media. 33-47.
“Notes on camp” by Susan Sontag in Camp: Queer aesthetics and the performing subject (1964): 53-65.
Grant Morrison says Batman is gay, internet basically shrugs by Charlie Jane Anders
DC Comics’ ‘Bombshells’ Is A Blast From The Past But With Queer Characters by Aaron Barksdale
Is Batman Gay? by Alan Donald.
The Super Psyche of Comic Book Shaman Grant Morrison by Gavin Edwards
Homosexuality in Comics – Part 1 by Emmett Furey
Superman Is Jewish: The Hebrew Roots of America’s Greatest Superhero by Rich Goldstein
Fabulously Fiendish: Disney Villains and Queer-Coding by Ren Martinez
Detective Comics sales in the 1930s and 1940s by John Jackson Miller
Steve Orlando Isn’t Waiting for Gay Heroes, He’s Creating Them by Jase Peeples
Grant Morrison: Why I’m stepping away from superheroes by Laura Sneddon
Hear Lex Luthor and Kate Kane in Arkham Knight With Our Easter Eggs List. by Kevin Thielenhaus
A Brief History of Dick: Unpacking the gay subtext of Robin, the Boy Wonder by Glen Weldon (I didn’t end up using this in my paper because I focused more on Batman and subtext, but I love this article SO MUCH.)
Whiz Comics #2. (Fawcett Comics, 1940) C.C. Beck and Bill Parker.
DC Comics: Bombshells #19. (DC Comics, 2015) Marguerite Bennet and Mirka Andolfo.
Batman: Death of the family. (DC Comics, 2013)Greg Capullo, Scott Snyder, et al.
Feature Comics #27 (Quality Comics, 1939) by Will Eisner
The Authority Vol 1: Relentless (DC Comics, 2000) by Warren Ellis,Bryan Hitch and Paul Neary.
Detective Comics #27 (National Comics/DC Comics, 1939) by Bill Finger and Bob Kane
DK2 (DC Comics, 2001) by Frank Miller
Batman: Year One (DC Comics, 1987) by Frank Miller, et al.
Batman Incorporated #4 (DC Comics, 2012) by Grant Morrison, et al.
Captain Atom: Armageddon (WildStorm Productions, 2005) by Will Pfeifer, et al.
Action Comics #1 (New York: National Publications/DC Comics, 1938.) by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
Batgirl #19 (DC Comics, 2013) by Gail Simone, Daniel Sampere, and Vicente Cifuentes
Mystery Men Comics #1 (Fox Feature Syndicate, 1939) Unknown
Now some of the books and articles can be a little difficult to find at a reasonable price and I wouldn’t have been able to get some of the articles that I used without help from lovely people on the internet. That being said, if you’re interested in writing your own paper on queerness as it relates to comics and some of the article or book sources are out of your price range, feel free to contact me and I’ll try and put you in touch with someone that can help.