This book addresses the pervasive representation of women with unique visionary abilities in postfeminist television series and films from the 1990s to the present. These women mediate between the living and the dead or between different worlds of experience, redefining what it means to be “normal” and challenging the traditional boundary between science and the inner world of visionary, mystical experience.
Part 1 includes a discussion of modern-day Cassandra figures, including the witches and other “seers” of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Charmed, Hex, and Tru Calling. Part 2 discusses modern television shows whose main characters represent a contemporary spin on Joan of Arc, including Joan of Arcadia and the short-lived Wonderfalls. Finally, Part 3 investigates female mediums and other “psychic detectives” in reality television series such as Psychic Investigators and Rescue Mediums; the popular television dramas Medium, Ghost Whisperer, and Afterlife; and contemporary films such as Ghost, The Gift, and Premonition.
|Publisher:||McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Karin Beeler is the English department chair at the University of Northern British Columbia in Canada. She has published in various areas of film and television studies, including screen culture for children.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Part 1. Postfeminist Cassandras: Seers, “Witches” and Women Who Know the Future
ONE. Cheerleader/Seer: The Hybrid Visions of Cordelia Chase in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel 25
TWO. The Transformation of River Tam: Psychic Warrior, Female Prodigy and Anti-Hero in Firefly and Serenity 38
THREE. Phoebe and the Power of Sight: The Witch as Seer in Charmed 49
FOUR. Visions of the “Mad” Outsider in Hex: Cassandra, Witches and Lesbian Appetite 61
FIVE. Postfeminist Savior: Seeing the Future and Reliving the Day in Tru Calling 70
Part 2. Joan of Arc in Contemporary Television: Images of a Reluctant Seer
SIX. Teen Visions of God: Postfeminist Heroism and Genre Crossing in Joan of Arcadia 83
SEVEN. Joan of Arc in Niagara Falls: Signs of a Seer and Cross-Cultural Contact in Wonderfalls 93
Part 3. Investigating the Dead: Mediums and Psychic Detectives
EIGHT. Psychic Women, “Dead” Men and the Search for Truth: Cross-Gender Communication in Ghost, The Gift and Premonition 107
NINE. Rescue Mediums and Psychic Investigators: Television for Women and Paranormal Programming 124
TEN. Resisting the Myth of the Bad Mother: Psychic Visions and Maternal Anxiety in NBC’s Medium 138
ELEVEN. Looking for Closure: Investigating Mothers, Daughters and Disease in Ghost Whisperer 151
TWELVE. A Medium’s Visions of a Third Space: Finding Family in the U.K. Series Afterlife 165
Chapter Notes 181