Doctoral Student in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies Receives Humanities Award

Samual McMillen
Photo Submitted

Samual McMillen

Samual McMillen, doctoral candidate in the Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies Program at the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, has received a 2020 James J. Hudson Doctoral Award in the Humanities from the Graduate School and International Education.

The Hudson doctoral award was set up in 1986 in honor of James J. Hudson, a professor of history who also served as dean of the University of Arkansas Graduate School.

Hudson awards are given to doctoral students in comparative literature and cultural studies, English, history, and philosophy. The students must be nominated by their departments and have only their dissertations yet to write and defend to complete their degree programs.

McMillen's dissertation, "Netflix's Luke Cage: Transmedia Storytelling and the Construction of Masculinity and Race," analyzes representations of race and masculinity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's depictions of Luke Cage.

Looking at how the character changes over time and genre, from the comic books to multiple streaming series, McMillen argues, provides insight into American culture's issues regarding race and gender.

By examining these changes in the depictions of Luke Cage from his comic book origins in Luke Cage, Hero for Hire and across the three streaming series Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and The Defenders, McMillen claims we can understand more about contemporary cultural anxieties regarding race and gender.

Robin Roberts, professor of English and gender studies, explained that "Samual's groundbreaking research helps viewers understand what popular culture texts reveal about race and masculinity. By studying televisual texts, he identifies tensions and patterns in contemporary culture."

Professor Luis Restrepo, who directs the Program in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, said, "Samual's cultural studies research project is an excellent example of the exciting critical work on contemporary popular culture that our interdisciplinary program makes possible."


Leigh Sparks, assistant director of the graduate program in English
Department of English


Blue & You Foundation Gives $600,000 to School of Social Work

The foundation recently invested an unprecedented $5.29 million in Arkansas behavioral health programs, including a grant for the U of A’s School of Social Work.

Study Explains Lax Oversight in Facebook Ads During 2016 Election

Facebook advertising during the 2016 political campaign demonstrated a systematic bias toward ad buyers, researchers found.

Message Regarding Fulbright, Brough Connections

Bill Kincaid, the acting chancellor of the U of A, released the following statement on the U of A Board of Trustees' decisions regarding the names of former Sen. J. William Fulbright and former Gov. Charles Brough.

Law Professor, Dean Emerita Named American Bar Foundation Chair

Dean Emerita Cynthia Nance will serve as Chair of the American Bar Foundation Fellows and will accept a grant presented by American Bar Endowment in Chicago in August.

Doctoral Industrial Engineering Student Recognized with International Best Paper Award

A research paper by Nick Shallcross, doctoral student in industrial engineering, was chosen by the Systems Engineering journal to be included in its best papers of the year issue.

News Daily