The Caped Crusader strikes again

Aidan Diamond

Aidan Diamond ’15

Research and teaching assistant, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Academic focus: English major, French minor

Thesis: “It’s a Batman's World”: Regulations of Gender, Sanity and Justice in Batman Comics, 1986–2011

Internship: program support intern, Pride Center of the Capital Region

Advanced degree: M.A., Memorial University of Newfoundland

To the surprise of no one who knew her, Aidan Diamond declared an English major in her sophomore year at Mount Holyoke. To the surprise of everyone who knew her, her area of study turned out to be comics. Thanks to the support of Elizabeth Young, Carl M. and Elsie A. Small Professor of English at Mount Holyoke, and Michele Hardesty and N. C. Christopher Couch in the Five Colleges, Aidan has been able to nurture an interest in Batman into a burgeoning academic career.

Aidan gives credit to Young for paving the way for her honors thesis, which was awarded summa cum laude honors by the English department. (To this day, she’s still surprised that a thesis on Batman comics earned that degree of recognition, but she’s not complaining.) Under Young, Aidan honed her skills in criticism and visual analysis, wrote incessantly and was encouraged to apply to graduate schools continue her scholarship.

Because of the training she received in the Mount Holyoke English department, Aidan secured a prestigious research assistantship with Nancy Pedri, a professor of English at Memorial University of Newfoundland, which she undertook while studying for her master’s. With Pedri’s support, she co-edited a special issue of the Routledge-published Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics; contributed a chapter to “The Ascendance of Harley Quinn” (McFarland, 2017); presented at six international conferences; and co-organized the Mixing Visual Media in Comics conference, which gathered the foremost comics scholars in the world for a two-day symposium on multimodality in graphic narrative.

After receiving her M.A., Aidan worked as an English language instructor in Poitiers, France, where she delved into the world of “bande dessinées” and presented at several European conferences. In August 2018, she began a Ph.D. in the University of Southern California’s Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture program, with a focus on comparative media. Her next publication will be in Damien Picariello’s edited collection on politics in the Batman universe.


Superhero thesis wins top honors



Diamond, Aiden and Lauranne Poharec. “Introduction: freaked and othered bodies in comics.” Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. Volume 8, Issue 5. Pages 402-416 | Accessed: 03 Aug 2017: