Indiana State University Newsroom

Landini Speaker: Wurtz to speak on “Arkham Asylum”

November 4, 2010

James Wurtz, Indiana State University assistant professor of English, will speak on "Batman's Dark Night of the Soul: Space and the Spatial in Arkham Asylum" as part of the Indiana State University's Landini Speaker Series.

The talk will take place at 3: 30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11 in ISU's Root Hall A264. Coffee and refreshments will be served at 3 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.

Wurtz will be discussing Grant Morrison and Dave McKean's book "Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth." In the book, Batman travels through Gotham City's most famous residence, where his encounters with its inmates force him to reexamine his own psyche.

"The house itself has a story to tell, and the history of the Asylum is interwoven with the tale of Batman's ‘dark night of the soul,'" Wurtz said. "Underpinning the narrative is a complex examination of the nature of space in the graphic novel, and Arkham Asylum uses this examination to self-reflexively interrogate the nature of comic form."

Through its examination of space and the spatial, Arkham Asylum becomes not only a reimagining of the potential of the superhero genre, but an inquiry into the nature of the relationship between reader and text and an examination of the process of reading a graphic narrative, according to Wurtz.