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Of Amazons, Humans, and Batmen: Superheroes and the Affectual Dynamics of Loneliness

Emily Scherzinger

Western superheroes are often represented as having an inherent loneliness at the base of their character. This paper affectually analyzes Batman and Wonder Woman in Batman Begins (2005) and Wonder Woman (2017) respectively to illuminate the complexity of loneliness as both a governing principle and a general public sentiment in Western society. Ultimately, superheroes are revealed to be paradoxically fighting against structures of injustice that produce and proliferate loneliness as a governing principle in Western society, while also simultaneously reinforcing said structures.

Keywords: affect, loneliness, superheroes, Batman, Wonder Woman

Emily Scherzinger is a PhD student in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University, where she researches language, meaning, and ‘common sense,’ specifically analyzing the ways in which these discourses influence and intersect with nonsense literature. Emily is also an avid zine maker, writer, and tea drinker.