Heroines of Film and Television: Portrayals in Popular Culture is a book I've been hoping would have been done years ago. While there are numerous good recent works about television and heroism, most are decidedly one sided and favor men over women, ignoring many of the immensely complicated and nuanced female heroines who have been the real story on television ever since the premier of Buffy back in 1997. This anthology takes on Buffy, of course, but casts its net wider, looking not only at Buffy (through the lens of political economy), but also looks at heroines in less obviously fantastic worlds (Madmen's Joan Harris) as well as looking at heroines on a global scale from Bollywood to Japanese anime to the differing movie versions of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The wide variety of critical approaches and methodologies and the comprehensiveness of this book make it an essential addition to the library of anyone seriously studying gender, television and popular culture. Brian Cogan is an Associate Professor and Chair, Communications Department at Molloy College. He is the author of The Encyclopedia of Punk (Sterling Press, 2008) and co-author of Everything I Needed to Know About_________*, I Learned from Monty Python. (St. Martin's Press, 2014)
From the Back Cover
As portrayals of heroic women gain ground in film, television, and other media, their depictions are braking free of females as versions of male heroes or simple stereotypes of acutely weak or overly strong women. Although heroines continue to represent the traditional roles of mothers, goddesses, warriors, whores, witches, and priestesses, these women are no longer just damsels in distress or violent warriors.
In Heroines of Film and Television: Portrayals in Popular Culture, award-winning authors from a variety of disciplines examine the changing roles of heroic women across time. In this volume, editors Norma Jones, Maja Bajac-Carter, and Bob Batchelor have assembled a collection of essays that broader our understanding of how heroines are portrayed across media, offering readers new ways to understand, perceive, and think about women. Contributors bring fresh readings to popular films and television shows such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Kill Bill, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Weeds, Mad Men, and Star Trek.
The representations and interpretations of these heroines are important reflections of popular culture that simultaneously empower and constrain real women. These essays help readers gain a more complete understanding of female heroes, especially as related to race, gender, power, and culture. A companion volume to Heroines of Comic Books and Literature, this collection will appeal to academics and broader audiences that are interested in women in popular culture.