Women in STEM on Television

Critical Essays


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About the Book

Women remain woefully underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Negative stereotypes about women in these fields are pervasive, rooted in the debunked claim that women have less aptitude than men in science and math. While some TV series present portrayals that challenge this generalization, others reinforce troubling biases—sometimes even as writers and producers attempt to champion women in STEM.
This collection of new essays examines numerous popular series, from children’s programs to primetime shows, and discusses the ways in which these narratives inform cultural ideas about women in STEM.

About the Author(s)

Ashley Lynn Carlson is an associate professor of English at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, Montana. She has published essays on a variety of topics ranging from nineteenth-century literature to contemporary popular culture.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Ashley Lynn Carlson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6941-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3280-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction (Ashley Lynn Carlson) 1
Achievements, Gaps and the “Achievement Gap”: STEM in Children’s Programming (Ashley Lynn Carlson and Hope J. Crowell) 7
The Doctors Who Waited: The Lonely Woman Scientist Trope
in Geek TV (Bridget M. Blodgett and Anastasia Salter) 20
Girl Geniuses: ­Anti-Intellectual Stereotypes of Women in STEM
Careers in Contemporary Televisual Culture (JZ Long) 36
“One of the Guys”: Female Engineers on Television (Ashley Lynn Carlson) 56
STEM and Diversity on Primetime Television: The Representation
of Gender and Race in The 100 (Natalie Krikowa) 71
“We have to know our biology”: Power, Patriarchy and the Body
in Orphan Black (Lauren Riccelli Zwicky) 86
“Not everyone’s cut out for Hollywood”: “The Iron Ceiling” in Marvel’s Agent Carter (Lisa K. Perdigao) 102
A Bad Case of the Feels: Emotion Versus Reason on Blindspot (Erin Nicholes) 120
Femininity and Forensics: Silent Witness and the Representation
of the Female Pathologist (Laura Foster and Helen McKenzie) 134
When the Woman Cuts: The Figure of the Female Medical on CSI: Miami and Crossing Jordan (Cary M.J. Elza) 152
A Woman in a Man’s (Fictional) World: Considering
the Importance of Dr. Molly Hooper in the BBC’s Modern Adaptation of Sherlock (Jennifer Phillips) 170
The River, the Rock, the Relative and the Returned: Depictions of Women Scientists in Doctor Who’s Moffat Era (Kristine Larsen) 187
About the Contributors 207
Index 209