By Suzanne Weiss/Silver Lake College of the Holy Family
MANITOWOC, Wis. — Dr. Mark Heimermann, who teaches an array of literature as assistant professor of English at Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, has recently published an article and received a prestigious award nomination related to his field.
He explored his personal favorite genre, speculative fiction, in an article he wrote for the July 2018 issue of Fantastika Journal, which is devoted to fantasy, science fiction and horror.
The article, “Unsettling Language: Grotesque Description in ‘The Flame Alphabet,’” is Dr. Heimermann’s in-depth look at Ben Marcus’ 2012 novel about a world in which language becomes toxic to adults.
When exposed to language, adults are transformed into grotesque, monstrous creatures.
“I argue that Ben Marcus challenges human and non-human distinctions as a way of forcing consideration regarding how people dehumanize each other,” Dr. Heimermann wrote. “This dehumanization makes it easier to objectify others.”
The discomforting plot challenges readers to consider how the grotesque plays out in today’s world.
“If there is any hope in the novel, it is that the novel’s metaphoric world challenges us to reconsider our own relationships so that we might cleanse or excise that within us which threatens to transform us into monsters,” Dr. Heimermann wrote.
His nomination is for a Will Eisner Comic Industry Award — a prestigious honor for scholars who write about comics — for best academic/scholarly work on comics for an anthology he co-edited in 2017. The anthology is called "Picturing Childhood: Youth in Transnational Comics."
Considered the ‘Oscars’ of the comics world, the Eisner Awards are named for pioneering comics creator and graphic novelist Will Eisner. The awards are given out in more than two dozen categories during a ceremony each year at Comic-Con International: San Diego.