Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Political Science

Degree Program

Political Science, MA

Committee Chair

Payne, Rodger

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Grady, Kristopher

Committee Member

Grady, Kristopher

Committee Member

Ferré, John

Author's Keywords

Captain America; foreign policy; interpretive analysis; nationalist superhero


Popular culture and media are consumed daily by billions around the world, media which can contain meaningful and politically relevant material. The three Captain America films from the 2010s represent this phenomenon in the presentation of Captain America as a nationalist superhero with geopolitically relevant storylines. The direction and production of these films illustrate significant parallels to foreign policy choices of the United States. Through an interpretive analysis of the Captain America films: Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Captain America: Civil War, this project seeks to analyze Captain America’s image and innate representation as superior and dominant. Important moments from each film were collected and categorized in order to create a cohesive understanding of important themes, narratives, and messaging present in the movies. Establishing the presence of politically relevant material within the Marvel Cinematic Universe opens a door for future research pertaining to other fictional characters within this world, as well as the substantive effects on the audience.