Gender Warriors: Reading Contemporary Urban Fantasy

Gender Warriors: Reading Contemporary Urban Fantasy


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Gender Warriors: Reading Contemporary Urban Fantasy offers classroom-ready original essays outlining contemporary debates about sexual objectification and gender norms in urban fantasy and examining how those cultural categories are reinforced and unraveled. The essays explore the foundations and evolutions of urban fantasy and presentations of gendered identities in a wide variety of sources, focusing not only on popular examples, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Underworld, but also on less studied works, for instance Penny Dreadful and Anita Blake.

The authors address the sociocultural institutions that bind gender to the body and shape our views of gendered norms, inviting students of all experience levels to engage in interdisciplinary conversations about both theoretical and embodied constructions of gender and the production of genre and generic conventions. The text unpacks cultural norms of gender and addresses issues of identity construction within an endlessly evolving genre. This collection demonstrates the way that representations of gender and the kick-ass female urban fantasy warrior have upended and reinforced a broad range of expectations and tropes, making it a fascinating text for any course, such as first-year studies, literature, film, gender studies, sociology, cultural studies, history, and more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789004394094
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 12/13/2018
Series: Teaching Gender Series , #10
Pages: 164
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

U. Melissa Anyiwo is a Professor and Coordinator of African American Studies at Curry College, Massachusetts. She has published multiple texts on the vampire as ethnic archetype, including Race in the Vampire Narrative (Sense Publishers, 2015).

Amanda Jo Hobson is the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Women’s Resource Center at Indiana State University. She has published several chapters on vampires in popular culture and is the co-editor of Gender in the Vampire Narrative (Sense Publishers, 2016).

Table of Contents


1. Introduction: What Is Urban Fantasy?

 Amanda Jo Hobson and U. Melissa Anyiwo

2. Creating the Urban Fantasy Heroine: Gender Displacement in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series

 Candace Benefiel

3. Empowering or Fetishizing: Wonder Woman Takes the Bechdel Test

 Sarah A. Smith

4. The Vampiric Nature of Transmedia Storytelling in the Buffyverse

 Jenna Guitar

5. Bewitching Bodies: Sex, Violence, and Magic in Urban Fantasy

 Amanda Jo Hobson

6. Fighting and Feminist Expression: The Argent Family and the Limits of Female Agency in Teen Wolf

 Lauren Rocha

7. Tough Women, Patriarchal Violence, and the Problem of Non-Intersectional Feminism in Les Wiseman’s Underworld Series

 Ana G. Gal

8. The Problematic Fan-Girl: Cassandra Clare’s Gendered Revisions in the Mortal Instruments Series

 Cait Coker

9. A Monstrous Narrative: Unraveling Gender and Ethnic Archetypes in Showtime’s Penny Dreadful

 U. Melissa Anyiwo

10. The Urban Fantasy Classroom

 U. Melissa Anyiwo and Amanda Jo Hobson

11. The Urban Fantasy Universe: Or What to Read or Watch Next

 U. Melissa Anyiwo and Amanda Jo Hobson

Notes on Contributors

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