Skip to main content

Joshua Plencner

Dr. Joshua Plencner

Assistant Professor

Contact Information

439 Mahar Hall
[email protected]

Office hours

Spring 2024:
Tuesdays 12:45-1:45pm
Thursdays 12:45-1:45pm
Or by Appointment

Dr. Plencner joined the faculty at SUNY Oswego in the Fall of 2019. He primarily teaches courses in American politics, with a focus on American political history, identity, and culture. His research agenda is interested in how political ideas are made through things. In particular, he writes on political identity formation in popular American visual culture, with special interest in comics studies, race and racism, political and cultural theory, and American Political Development. His work is published in scholarly and popular outlets, including New Political Science, HA: The Journal of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College, Black PerspectivesArtists Against Police BrutalityThe Middle Spaces, the University Press of Mississippi, and elsewhere. Before coming to Oswego, he received his PhD in political science at the University of Oregon, and held positions as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at Drexel University as well as the Department of Political Science at Union College, where he also contributed to programs in American Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies.



  • PhD, Political Science, University of Oregon, 2014
    • Dissertation: "Four-Color Political Visions: Origins, Affect, and Assemblage in American Superhero Comics"
    • Fields: American Politics, Visual Politics, Public Policy
  • MS, Political Science, University of Oregon, 2011
  • BA, Political Science and English, University of North Dakota, 2007
    • Magna cum laude


Seleted Awards/Fellowships

  • 2023:  American Political Science Association Travel Grant
  • 2022:  Association for Political Theory First Book Proposal Workshop
  • 2020:  National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Fellow
    • CUNY City Tech - "City of Print: New York and the Periodical Press"
  • 2019:  New York University Summer Scholar-in-Residence 


Research Interests

American political culture; race and racism; identity formation; comics studies; material culture studies; Black political thought; American Political Development; film and media studies.


Teaching Interests

American politics, culture, and identity; politics and popular culture (especially comic books and film); political movements; prison studies; American political thought; American Political Development.


Selected Publications

  • 2019. "White Racial Innocence and the Superheroes We Don't Deserve." HA: The Journal of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College Vol. VII, pp. 160-171.
  • 2018. "Supergirl and the Corporate Articulation of Neoliberal Feminism." (With Kathryn L. Miller). New Political Science 40:1, pp. 51-69. 
  • 2018. "Marvel's Fallen Son and Making the Ordinary Sacred." In Comics and Sacred Texts: Reimagining Religion and Graphic Narratives, eds. Assaf Gamzou and Ken Koltun-Fromm. University of Mississippi Press.


Classes Taught 

  • POL 205 - American Government & Politics
  • POL 300 - Special Topics: Mass Incarceration
  • POL 300 - Special Topics: James Baldwin's America
  • POL 300 - Special Topics: Abolition 
  • POL 305 - Power & Institutions 
  • POL 311 - Public Policy Analysis
  • POL 316 - American Political Thought
  • POL 326 - American Political Movements
  • POL 328 - Politics & Literature: Comics
  • POL 338 - Politics & Film
  • POL 346 - American Political Development
  • POL 497 - Seminar: Superheroes and American Political Culture