Heroines of Film and Television: Portrayals in Popular Culture

Rowman & Littlefield
4

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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Features
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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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The Amazing Spider-Man. The Incredible Hulk. The Invincible Iron Man. Black Panther. 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.
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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