Each Science Night Live event features an expert presenter to speak to our guests about a timely and engaging topic related to the sciences. At SNL on August 19, Dr. Julian Chambliss will discuss science as it relates to superhero stories and themes.
Comic books were some of Dr. Chambliss’ earliest reading material as a child. He developed a lifelong interest in the concepts and characters that he found in those books and on-screen adaptations.
But to Dr. Chambliss, comic books are much more than pure entertainment.
“We look at comic books because they’re so representative of broader societal narratives,” Dr. Chambliss said.
Though some of the values and themes in superhero stories have stayed the same, other aspects have had to change and adjust to the contemporary landscape. You might have noticed that Batman looks almost the same as he did in 1939, but Gotham City has had to transform to match the technology of our modern world.
Dr. Chambliss’ heavily visual presentation at Science Night Life will show audiences how science has influenced and informed superhero narratives. For example, Marvel films have relied on science to become the iconic works that they are.
Guests of Science Night Live will have two opportunities to see Dr. Chambliss’ presentation, at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday, August 19, in the Digital Adventure Theater. There is no extra cost for this experience, but space is limited, so arrive early at the theater to secure your seat.
Dr. Chambliss is a history professor at Rollins College. He teaches courses in urban history, African-American history and comic book history in the United States, and his research has focused on urban development and culture in cities across the United States. He has been recognized for his community engagement by earning a Cornell Distinguished Service Award (2014-2015) and Florida Campus Compact Service Learning Faculty Award (2011).
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