From superheroes to Hogwarts, Bell’s research on children’s identity, race and inclusivity rings true

Dr. Christopher Bell, director of graduate studies and associate professor of media studies at CU Colorado Springs, is a big fan of Marvel superheroes and is tuned in to what they stand for. On this month’s CU on the Air, Dr. Bell chats with host Ken McConnellogue about the ways race, class and gender intersect in different forms of children’s media as well as his role as a TED speaker, a diversity and inclusiveness consultant for Pixar Animation Studios, his upcoming work with WWE and the benefits of playing the ukulele.

  • The history and advancement of identity studies.
  • His viral TED Talk: Bring on the female Superheroes.
  • The role Bell has played for Pixar Animation Studios, and that influence on movies.
  • Bell’s inspiration in advancing female role models
  • The problem with labeling toys for boy and girls
  • Where’s Princes Leia? Where’s Gamora? Where’s Black Widow? The dearth of female role model action figures, costumes and other marketing materials.
  • A child’s identity and its development through play.
  • How and why Disney has recognized the importance of diversity in children’s shows.
  • The important lessons of Harry Potter, and the five books he’s written about them.
  • Bell’s favorite superhero
  • The most boring superhero ever
  • And Bell’s pick for best villain
  • His upcoming work with the development of superhero characters and professional wrestling
  • What about the ukulele?
  • Bell’s podcast, The Deconstruction Workers