The First Truth of Batman: The Dark Knight as an Example of Gothic Subjectivity and Relational Thinking

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera

Abstract

This paper explores a tension at the heart of the character of Batman, the tension between Batman as a solitary lone vigilante and Batman as a crimefighter with important relationships with others. I characterise these two incarnations as Gothic Batman and Relational Batman. The Gothic Batman conforms to Gothic aesthetics of subjectivity and masculinity. In contrast, Relational Batman is best understood through his relationships to others. This understanding of Batman reflects the turn in the social sciences towards affect and relational thinking. Batman’s relationship with his sidekick Robin demonstrates the centrality of relationships in Batman’s life. Furthermore, Batman’s mission to protect Gotham City can be conceptualised as a relationally focused mission of care, rather than a personal mission of vengeance. Evidence from recent Batman texts suggests the Relational Batman is currently ascendant. The prominence of Relational Batman suggests that the turn towards a focus on relationality in the social sciences is being reflected in popular culture.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 30 Jun 2015
EventPopular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand Annual International Conference - Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 29 Jun 20151 Jul 2015

Conference

ConferencePopular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand Annual International Conference
Abbreviated titlePopCAANZ
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
CityWellington
Period29/06/151/07/15

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