Heroines of Comic Books and Literature: Portrayals in Popular Culture

Heroines of Comic Books and Literature: Portrayals in Popular Culture

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Despite the growing importance of heroines across literary culture-and sales figures that demonstrate both young adult and adult females are reading about heroines in droves, particularly in graphic novels, comic books, and YA literature-few scholarly collections have examined the complex relationships between the representations of heroines and the changing societal roles for both women and men. In Heroines of Comic Books and Literature: Portrayals in Popular Culture, editors Maja Bajac-Carter, Norma Jones, and Bob Batchelor have selected essays by award-winning contributors that offer a variety of perspectives on the representations of heroines in today's society. Focused on printed media, this collection looks at heroic women depicted in literature, graphic novels, manga, and comic books. Addressing heroines from such sources as the Marvel and DC comic universes, manga, and the Twilight novels, contributors go beyond the account of women as mothers, wives, warriors, goddesses, and damsels in distress. These engaging and important essays situate heroines within culture, revealing them as tough and self-sufficient females who often break the bounds of gender expectations in places readers may not expect. Analyzing how women are and have been represented in print, this companion volume to Heroines of Film and Television will appeal to scholars of literature, rhetoric, and media as well as to broader audiences that are interested in portrayals of women in popular culture.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442275607
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 08/04/2016
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 274
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Maja Bajac-Carter is a doctoral candidate in Communication Studies at Kent State University. Her research focuses on gender, identity, and media studies. She is a contributor to We Are What We Sell: How Advertising Shapes American Life. .. and Always Has (2014).

Norma Jones has a PhD in communication and information from Kent State University. She is an editor of Rowman & Littlefield's Sports Icons and Issues in Popular Culture book series and is coeditor of Aging Heroes: Growing Old in Popular Culture (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015).

Bob Batchelor teaches in the Media, Journalism & Film department at Miami University and is the founding editor of the Popular Culture Studies Journal. Batchelor edits the Contemporary American Literature and Cultural History of Television book series for Rowman & Littlefield. Among his books are John Updike: A Critical Biography (2013), Gatsby: The Cultural History of the Great American Novel (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), and Mad Men: A Cultural History (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).

Table of Contents


I. Literature

Chapter 1: To Heck with the Village: Fantastic Heroines, Journey and Return, Sandra J. Lindow
Chapter 2: From Duckling to Swan: What Makes a Twilight Heroine Strong, Tricia Clasen
Chapter 3: Salem’s Daughters: Witchcraft, Justice, and the Heroine in Popular Culture, Lauren Lemley
Chapter 4: Heroine: Christina of Markyate, K. A. Laity
Chapter 5: The Bohemian Gypsy, Another Body to Sell: Deciphering Esmeralda in Popular Culture, Adina Schneeweis
Chapter 6: Writing Women in War: Speaking Through, About, And For Female Soldiers in Iraq, Christina M. Smith

II. Exotic, Foreign, Familiar, and Queer

Chapter 7: The Borderland Construction of Latin American and Latina Heroines in Contemporary Visual Media, Mauricio Espinoza
Chapter 8: Janissary: An Orientalist Heroine Or a Role Model For Muslim Women?, Itir Erhart & Hande Eslen-Ziya
Chapter 9: Representations of Motherhood in X-men, Christopher Paul Wagenheim
Chapter 10: Negotiating Life Spaces: How Marriage Marginalized Storm, Anita McDaniel
Chapter 11: The Mother of All Superheroes: Idealization of Femininity in Wonder Woman, Sharon Zechowski & Caryn E. Neumann
Chapter 12: Wonder Woman: Lesbian or Dyke? Paradise Island as a Woman’s Community, Trina Robbins
Chapter 13: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorists to Crimson Caped Crusaders: How Folk and Mainstream Lesbian Heroes Queer Cultural Space, April Jo Murphy

III. Contemporary American Graphic Novels/Comics

Chapter 14: Punching Holes in the Sky: Carol Danvers and the Potential of Superheroinism, Nathan Miczo
Chapter 15: Jumping Rope Naked: John Byrne, Metafiction, and the Comics Code, Roy Cook
Chapter 16: Invisible, Tiny, and Distant: The First Female Superheroes of the Marvel Age of Comics, Joseph Darowski
Chapter 17: Heroines Aplenty, but None My Mother Would Know: Marvel’s Lack of An Iconic Superheroine , T. Keith Edmunds
Chapter 18: Liminality and Capitalism in Spider-Woman and Wonder Woman, or: How to Make Stronger (i.e. male) Two Super Powerful Women, Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns
Chapter 19: Empowerment as Transgression: The Rise and Fall of The Black Cat in Kevin Smith’s The Evil That Men Do, Michael R. Kramer
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