“Let Us Be Giants”

Masculinity Nostalgia and Military Edutainment in South Asian War Comics

in Boyhood Studies
Tehmina PirzadaTexas A&M University at Qatar, Qatar tpirzada@tamu.edu

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Since 2003, a budding collection of English-language war comics dealing with military conflicts between India and Pakistan have become part of the comic book repertoire in both countries. This article focuses on two such comics, Siachen (2012) and Haider (2015). Drawing upon Raewyn Connell's theorization of hegemonic masculinity, the article analyzes how the masculine role models depicted in Haider and Siachen vehemently deny the horrific emotional and physical costs of warfare. By examining hegemonic masculinity in the comics through masculinity nostalgia, and through close reading of the characters’ physical appearances and their shared military camaraderie, this article establishes how the comics endorse militancy and warfare for the purpose of entertainment and education, thereby serving as military propaganda, regardless of the creators’ personal intent.

Contributor Notes

Tehmina Pirzada is an Assistant Professor of English at Texas A&M University at Qatar. She completed her PhD in English at Purdue University as a Fulbright fellow in 2017. Her research focuses on youth cultures, postcolonial studies, and the visual and popular cultures of South Asia. Her research has appeared in South Asian Popular Culture, Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, South Asian Review, and Journal of Language, Literature, and Culture. E-mail: tpirzada@tamu.edu ORCID Identifier: 0000-0002-1387-8205

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