Fourth Wave Feminism in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Volume 1. Essays on Film Representations, 2012–2019

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About the Book

Fourth wave feminism has entered the national conversation and established a highly visible presence in popular media, especially in cutting-edge science fiction and fantasy films and television series. Wonder Woman, the Wasp, and Captain Marvel headline superhero films while Black Panther celebrates nonwestern power. Disney princesses value sisterhood over conventional marriage.
This first of two companion volumes addresses cinema, exploring how, since 2012, such films as the Hunger Games trilogy, Mad Max: Fury Road, and recent Star Wars installments have showcased women of action. The true innovation is a product of the Internet age. Though the web has accelerated fan engagement to the point that progressivism and backlash happen simultaneously, new films increasingly emphasize diversity over toxic masculinity. They defy net trolls to provide stunning role models for viewers across the spectrum of age, gender, and nationality.

About the Author(s)

Valerie Estelle Frankel teaches English at Mission College and San Jose City College. The author of 75 popular culture books and more than 100 stories and essays, she lives in Sunnyvale, California.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Valerie Estelle Frankel

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7766-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3760-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Section I: New Rules
Passing the Mako Mori Test: Female Agency in Men’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Cinema (Tim Posada) 11
Blockbusters for a New Age: Sisterhood Defeats Angry Young Men in Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Last Jedi and Ghostbusters (Valerie Estelle Frankel) 25
Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movies for Identity Politics in Fourth Wave Feminism (Aamir Aziz and Farwa Javed) 52
Imperator Furiosa, Fury Broad: Gender in Mad Max: Fury Road (Martin Ricksand) 62

Section II: Deconstruction
From Traditional Slasher to Fourth Wave: Fantastical Reconversion in The Final Girls and Happy Death Day (Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns, Canela Ailén Rodriguez Fontao and Mariana S. Zárate) 77
Annihilation, HeLa and the New Weird: Destruction as ­Re-Creation (Alexis Brooks de Vita) 88
“Hello, beasty”: Uncompromising Motherhood in Disney’s Maleficent (Melissa Wehler) 102

Section III: Children’s Stories
Katniss, the Naive Virgin: Fourth Wave Heroines Recentering Neoconservative Values (Paula Talero Álvarez) 115
Contrivances of Female Empowerment and the Millennial Wave in Disney Movies (Ananya Chatterjee and Nisarga Bhattacharjee) 127
Making Her Own Destiny: Disney’s Diverse Females (Lisann Anders) 139
Jack Frost and the Heroine’s Journey: ­Gender-Bending Back to the Goddess in Rise of the Guardians (Patti McCarthy) 149

Section IV: Superheroes
Stings Like a Wasp: Janet van Dyne, Hope van Dyne and the Feminist Superheroine in the Ant-Man Films (Don Tresca) 173
Riding the Waves of Feminism in Wonder Woman: A Shock Heard ’Round the World (Carol ­Zitzer-Comfort and José I. Rodríguez) 184
Deconstructing the Wonder: Liberal Versus Conservative Thought in Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman (Christian Jimenez) 194
Black Panther and Wonder Woman: A Study in Feminist Representation (Shoshana Kessock) 207

About the Contributors 217
Index 221