Heroines of Film and Television: Portrayals in Popular Culture

Rowman & Littlefield
4
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As portrayals of heroic women gain ground in film, television, and other media, their depictions are breaking 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 broaden 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 life 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.
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About the author

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).

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).

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).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Rowman & Littlefield
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Published on
Apr 4, 2014
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Pages
266
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ISBN
9781442231504
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Language
English
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Genres
Performing Arts / Film / History & Criticism
Performing Arts / Television / History & Criticism
Social Science / Popular Culture
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Norma Jones
Despite the increasing number and variety of older characters appearing in film, television, comics, and other popular culture, much of the understanding of these figures has been limited to outdated stereotypes of aging. These include depictions of frailty, resistance to modern life, and mortality. More importantly, these stereotypes influence the daily lives of aging adults, as well as how younger generations perceive and interact with older individuals. In light of our graying population and the growing diversity of portrayals of older characters in popular culture, it is important to examine how we understand aging.

In Aging Heroes: Growing Old in Popular Culture, Norma Jones and Bob Batchelor present a collection of essays that address the increasing presence of characters that simultaneously manifest and challenge the accepted stereotypes of aging. The contributors to this volume explore representations in television programs, comic books, theater, and other forms of media. The chapters include examinations of aging male and female actors who take on leading roles in such movies as Gran Torino, Grudge Match, Escape Plan, Space Cowboys, Taken, and The Big Lebowski as well as TheExpendables, Red, and X-Men franchises. Other chapters address perceptions of masculinity, sexuality, gender, and race as manifested by such cultural icons as Superman, Wonder Woman, Danny Trejo, Helen Mirren, Betty White, Liberace, and Tyler Perry’s Madea.

With multi-disciplinary and accessible essays that encompass the expanding spectrum of aging and related stereotypes, this book offers a broader range of new ways to understand, perceive, and think about aging. Aging Heroes will be of interest to scholars of film, television, gender studies, women’s studies, sociology, aging studies, and media studies, as well as to general readers.
Bob Batchelor
In 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald produced his third novel, a slim work for which he had high expectations. Despite such hopes, the novel received mixed reviews and lackluster sales. Over the decades, however, the reputation of The Great Gatsby has grown and millions of copies have been sold. One of the bestselling novels of all time, it is also considered one of the most significant achievements in twentieth-century fiction. But what makes Gatsby great? Why do we still care about this book more than eighty-five years after it was published? And how does Gatsby help us make sense of our own lives and times?

In Gatsby: The Cultural History of the Great American Novel, Bob Batchelor explores the birth, life, and enduring influence of The Great Gatsby—from the book’s publication in 1925 through today’s headlines filled with celebrity intrigue, corporate greed, and a roller-coaster economy. A cultural historian, Batchelor explains why and how the novel has become part of the fiber of the American ethos and an important tool in helping readers to better comprehend their lives and the broader world around them.

A “biography” of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, this book examines The Great Gatsby’s evolution from a nearly-forgotten 1920s time capsule to a revered cultural touchstone. Batchelor explores how this embodiment of the American Dream has become an iconic part of our national folklore, how the central themes and ideas emerging from the book—from the fulfillment of the American Dream to the role of wealth in society—resonate with contemporary readers who struggle with similar uncertainties today. By exploring the timeless elements of reinvention, romanticism, and relentless pursuit of the unattainable, Batchelor confirms the novel’s status as “The Great American Novel” and, more importantly, explains to students, scholars, and fans alike what makes Gatsby so great.
Bob Batchelor
Welcome to Pop Culture 2.0. In the 2000s, Generation eXposure, emerged from the marriage of new technology and the nation's obsession with celebrity. Social media technology, such as MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, and countless blogs, gave everyman a voice and a public persona that they could share with friends across the street or around the world. Suddenly, it was not enough to imitate Britney Spears or Paris Hilton, technology gave everyone a platform to launch their own 15 minutes of fame. The fixation on self and celebrity acted as a diversion from more serious challenges the nation faced, including President George W. Bush's War on Terror. The wars overseas sharply divided the country, after a moment of national unity after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, which took away one of the world's most recognizable buildings. The era witnessed interest rates dropping to historic lows, but later subprime became one of the most searched terms on Google as the nation teetered on recession. Big was in like never before and suddenly people nationwide could buy or build their own McMansion-a slice of the American dream. While supersized homes and fast food meals became commonplace, the electronics and transportation advances proved that good things came in increasingly smaller packages. Apple's iPod reinvented how people interacted with music, hybrids changed thoughts on fuel efficiency as a gallon of gas topped $3. Cell phones usage ballooned in our always on society, while physically shrinking to the size of a deck of cards. Yes, me-centric Pop Culture 2.0, which the pundits predicted would some day arrive, burst onto the scene and ultimately transformed the way we interact with one another and the world around us.

Chapters inside the latest volume in the American Popular Culture Through History series explore various aspects of popular culture, including advertising, literature, leisure activities, music visual arts, and travel. Supplemental resources include a timeline of important events, cost comparisons, and an extensive bibliography for further reading.

Bob Batchelor
Pop culture is the heart and soul of America, a unifying bridge across time bringing together generations of diverse backgrounds. Whether looking at the bright lights of the Jazz Age in the 1920s, the sexual and the rock-n-roll revolution of the 1960s, or the thriving social networking websites of today, each period in America's cultural history develops its own unique take on the qualities define our lives.American Pop: Popular Culture Decade by Decade is the most comprehensive reference on American popular culture by decade ever assembled, beginning with the 1900s up through today. The four-volume set examines the fascinating trends across decades and eras by shedding light on the experiences of Americans young and old, rich and poor, along with the influences of arts, entertainment, sports, and other cultural forces.

Whether a pop culture aficionado or a student new to the topic, American Pop provides readers with an engaging look at American culture broken down into discrete segments, as well as analysis that gives insight into societal movements, trends, fads, and events that propelled the era and the nation. In-depth chapters trace the evolution of pop culture in 11 key categories: Key Events in American Life, Advertising, Architecture, Books, Newspapers, Magazines, and Comics, Entertainment, Fashion, Food, Music, Sports and Leisure Activities, Travel, and Visual Arts. Coverage includes: How Others See Us, Controversies and scandals, Social and cultural movements, Trends and fads, Key icons, and Classroom resources. Designed to meet the high demand for resources that help students study American history and culture by the decade, this one-stop reference provides readers with a broad and interdisciplinary overview of the numerous aspects of popular culture in our country. Thoughtful examination of our rich and often tumultuous popular history, illustrated with hundreds of historical and contemporary photos, makes this the ideal source to turn to for ready reference or research.

Bob Batchelor
The Amazing Spider-Man. The Incredible Hulk. The Invincible Iron Man. These are just a few of the iconic superheroes to emerge from the mind of Stan Lee.

From the mean streets of Depression-era New York City to recipient of the National Medal of Arts, Lee’s life has been almost as remarkable as the thrilling adventures he spun for decades. From millions of comic books fans of the 1960s through billions of moviegoers around the globe, Stan Lee has touched more people than almost any person in the history of popular culture.

In Stan Lee: The Man behind Marvel, Bob Batchelor offers an eye-opening look at this iconic visionary, a man who created (with talented artists) many of history’s most legendary characters. In this energetic and entertaining biography, Batchelor explores how Lee capitalized on natural talent and hard work to become the editor of Marvel Comics as a teenager. After toiling in the industry for decades, Lee threw caution to the wind and went for broke, co-creating the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, and others in a creative flurry that revolutionized comic books for generations of readers. Marvel superheroes became a central part of pop culture, from collecting comics to innovative merchandising, from superhero action figures to the ever-present Spider-Man lunchbox.

Batchelor examines many of Lee’s most beloved works, including the 1960s comics that transformed Marvel from a second-rate company to a legendary publisher. This book reveals the risks Lee took to bring the characters to life and Lee’s tireless efforts to make comic books and superheroes part of mainstream culture for more than fifty years.

Stan Lee: The Man behind Marvel not only reveals why Lee developed into such a central figure in American entertainment history, but brings to life the cultural significance of comic books and how the superhero genre reflects ideas central to the American experience. Candid, authoritative, and utterly absorbing, this is a biography of a man who dreamed of one day writing the Great American Novel, but ended up doing so much more—changing American culture by creating new worlds and heroes that have entertained generations of readers.
Bob Batchelor
In 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald produced his third novel, a slim work for which he had high expectations. Despite such hopes, the novel received mixed reviews and lackluster sales. Over the decades, however, the reputation of The Great Gatsby has grown and millions of copies have been sold. One of the bestselling novels of all time, it is also considered one of the most significant achievements in twentieth-century fiction. But what makes Gatsby great? Why do we still care about this book more than eighty-five years after it was published? And how does Gatsby help us make sense of our own lives and times?

In Gatsby: The Cultural History of the Great American Novel, Bob Batchelor explores the birth, life, and enduring influence of The Great Gatsby—from the book’s publication in 1925 through today’s headlines filled with celebrity intrigue, corporate greed, and a roller-coaster economy. A cultural historian, Batchelor explains why and how the novel has become part of the fiber of the American ethos and an important tool in helping readers to better comprehend their lives and the broader world around them.

A “biography” of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, this book examines The Great Gatsby’s evolution from a nearly-forgotten 1920s time capsule to a revered cultural touchstone. Batchelor explores how this embodiment of the American Dream has become an iconic part of our national folklore, how the central themes and ideas emerging from the book—from the fulfillment of the American Dream to the role of wealth in society—resonate with contemporary readers who struggle with similar uncertainties today. By exploring the timeless elements of reinvention, romanticism, and relentless pursuit of the unattainable, Batchelor confirms the novel’s status as “The Great American Novel” and, more importantly, explains to students, scholars, and fans alike what makes Gatsby so great.
Bob Batchelor
Welcome to Pop Culture 2.0. In the 2000s, Generation eXposure, emerged from the marriage of new technology and the nation's obsession with celebrity. Social media technology, such as MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, and countless blogs, gave everyman a voice and a public persona that they could share with friends across the street or around the world. Suddenly, it was not enough to imitate Britney Spears or Paris Hilton, technology gave everyone a platform to launch their own 15 minutes of fame. The fixation on self and celebrity acted as a diversion from more serious challenges the nation faced, including President George W. Bush's War on Terror. The wars overseas sharply divided the country, after a moment of national unity after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, which took away one of the world's most recognizable buildings. The era witnessed interest rates dropping to historic lows, but later subprime became one of the most searched terms on Google as the nation teetered on recession. Big was in like never before and suddenly people nationwide could buy or build their own McMansion-a slice of the American dream. While supersized homes and fast food meals became commonplace, the electronics and transportation advances proved that good things came in increasingly smaller packages. Apple's iPod reinvented how people interacted with music, hybrids changed thoughts on fuel efficiency as a gallon of gas topped $3. Cell phones usage ballooned in our always on society, while physically shrinking to the size of a deck of cards. Yes, me-centric Pop Culture 2.0, which the pundits predicted would some day arrive, burst onto the scene and ultimately transformed the way we interact with one another and the world around us.

Chapters inside the latest volume in the American Popular Culture Through History series explore various aspects of popular culture, including advertising, literature, leisure activities, music visual arts, and travel. Supplemental resources include a timeline of important events, cost comparisons, and an extensive bibliography for further reading.

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