The Portrayal of Women in Science Fiction Cinema

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Published by McFarland, USA / 8th June 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6927-4 / eISBN: 978-1-4766-3271-1

Full Table of Contents and Outline here (webpage).
Sample Text here (PDF).

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We are living in a science fiction cinema age. This is the genre that delivers the grandest visions with the latest effects in the biggest blockbusters – and women are now at the center of many of its stories. But it hasn’t always been this way. In a unique survey embracing more than 650 films produced across 13 decades, Dean Conrad charts a history of highs and lows, in which women have struggled to be seen and heard in a genre traditionally regarded as being of men, by men and for men. This is the story of female characters in science fiction cinema, from their absence and token presence in the silent pictures of the 19th century, through their roles as assistants, pulp princesses, sexy robots, scientists, soldiers, academics and more, and on to their prominent place in the 21st century’s established franchises. World wars, social upheavals, cultural changes and advances in film technology have all had their effect on the development of the genre – and there is no better barometer for this than its female roles. Placed in context and supported by a dusting of theory, these are the fabulous, furious, funny, fragile and frustrating women of science fiction cinema.  
Key Points  
~ The first comprehensive survey of female characters in science fiction cinema.
~ A history spanning the years 1895 to 2018: from silent movies to Star Wars VIII.
~ 650+ science fiction films covered.
~ 37 photos.
~ 140,000 words (incl. front- and back-matter).
~ Includes an Appendix, outlining 50+ films for "recommended viewing".
~ Available worldwide in softcover and e-book from 8th June 2018.
Author Biog.  
Dean Conrad is a writer, producer and teacher. His first book, on Star Wars, was published in 1996, while he was researching for his PhD on women in science fiction film. This was followed by chapters, essays and papers on the genre, edited works on cinema-theater exhibition spaces, screenplays, published board games, and television production work. Dean has taught film, theater and television related subjects in schools, colleges and universities in the United Kingdom and the United States. He was based in England to write this book, but he now lives overseas, where he is developing projects for cinema and television.  

Image credit: David Ferguson
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