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Of Mice and Mutants: Competitive Memories
Transcript of Of Mice and Mutants: Competitive Memories
and Minority Identity in Holocaust Comics
Kristina Busse September 7, 2016
fights for “truth, justice, and the American way.”
knows that “with great power comes great responsibility.”
“fight to protect a world that hates and fears them.”
[I]t was a book about being different in a culture where, for the first time in the West, being different wasn’t just accepted, but was also fashionable. (Tom DeFalco)
The X-Men are hated, feared and despised collectively by humanity for no other reason than that they are mutants. So what we have here, intended or not, is a book that is about racism, bigotry and prejudice
Certainly many, if not all, teenagers (and adults for that matter) experience alienation. Yet, this interpretation erases marginalized subject positions in favor of a neoliberal homogenization claiming not only that every teenager feels alienated, but that this alienation is equally weighted across disparate identities and communities. Such rendering is problematic as it equates differential oppressions to ‘‘just a phase’’ everyone goes through.
In Spiegelman's America, every immigrant group--German cats, Polish pigs, even blacks--has been assimilated, with the exception of the Jews! Everyone else is dogs (blacks are black dogs); Jews are still mice. It's as if not just the Holocaust itself but the racial system that produced it was an American rather than a European phenomenon.
(Walter Benn Michaels)
This might also shed light on how the popular American fascination with the Holocaust may function as a screen memory (Deckerinnerung) in the Freudian sense, covering up a traumatic event-another traumatic event-that cannot be approached directly.
Americanization of the Holocaust
Schindler's List (1993)
God Loves, Man Kills
H - Human
A - Anomalous
M - Mutant
Days of Future Past
Classic X-Men 12 (1986)
X-Men Magneto: Testament
X-Men: First Class (2011)