The public is invited to attend a lively discussion on superheroes and psychology at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 14, as West Liberty University welcomes Dr. Travis Langley to campus. The event will be held in the Alumni Room, College Union.
“Batman and Psychology, A Dark and Storm Knight,” is the title of Langley’s popular book, published in June 2012. Described as a journey behind the mask and into the mind of Gotham City’s Caped Crusader, the book was published in time for the summer 2012 release of the film of The Dark Knight Rises.
Batman is one of the most compelling and enduring characters to come from the Golden Age of Comics and interest in his story has only increased through countless incarnations since his first appearance in Detective Comics in 1939. Langley looks at why this superhero fascinates us so.
Batman and Psychology explores intriguing questions about the masked vigilante, including: Does Batman have PTSD? Why does he fight crime? Why as a vigilante? Why the mask, the bat, and the underage partner? Why are his most intimate relationships with “bad girls” he ought to lock up? And why won’t he kill that homicidal, green-haired clown?
The book and author suggests fresh insights into the complex inner world of Batman and Bruce Wayne and the life and characters of Gotham City Explains psychological theory and concepts through the lens of one of the world’s most popular comic book characters.
A tenured professor of psychology at Henderson State University, Langley received his bachelor of arts in psychology from Hendrix College and his master’s and doctoral degrees in experimental social psychology from Tulane University.
His research includes studies of aggressive behavior and mass media, particularly the psychology of media fans. He and his students collect data for their ERIICA Project: Empirical Research on the Interpretation & Influence of the Comic Arts.
Langley regularly makes presentations on the psychology of superheroes at conventions like San Diego Comic-Con International.
The event is cosponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and West Liberty University’s annual Hughes Lecture Series.
WLU began a new academic program, the graphic narrative major, this fall that offers an interdisciplinary program focused on the study and creation of graphic novels and comics. Langley will speak to students in the new program while visiting campus.
Langley also will be a guest speaker at Lunch-with-Books, Ohio County Public Library at noon, Oct. 15. To find out more about the graphic narrative major, click here.