Girl of Steel

Essays on Television’s Supergirl and Fourth-Wave Feminism

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About the Book

The CW’s hit adaptation of Supergirl is tailor-made for pop culture criticism and scholarship in the post–#MeToo era. The series features a new take on the classic DC character of Supergirl, updating it for a new audience and the modern moment. With a diverse collection of female characters, it explores different versions of the female experience. No single character embodies a feminist ideal; rather, each character represents certain attributes of the contemporary feminist conversation.
This essay collection uses a similar approach, inviting a diverse group of scholars to propose answers to the many questions about gender roles and female agency raised in the series. Fourth-wave feminist theories help elucidate the ways Supergirl exhibits and challenges current sexual politics. Essays analyze how the series engages with conversations about feminism and crafting female identities, Supergirl’s impact on queer audiences and queer studies, and how families and familial bonds craft the show’s feminist narratives, among other topics. In the ever-growing superhero television genre, Supergirl remains unique as viewers watch a female hero with almost godlike powers face the same struggles as the non-superpowered women in the series.

About the Author(s)

Melissa Wehler, a professor of interdisciplinary studies, has published essays in a variety of edited collections where she discusses topics including the gothic, feminism, performance, and popular culture. She has published on Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, PBS’ Downton Abbey, Netflix’s Jessica Jones, and Disney’s Maleficent. She lives in Enola, Pennsylvania.
Tim Rayborn is a historian, medievalist, and musician, with a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds in England. He writes on history and on the arts, and lives in Berkeley, California.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Melissa Wehler and Tim Rayborn
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7201-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3937-6
Imprint: McFarland