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Wonder Women: Feminisms and Superheroes [Paperback]

Lillian Robinson

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Price: £21.84 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

25 Mar 2004 0415966329 978-0415966320
Drawing upon her long career as a formidable feminist critic yet wearing her knowledge lightly, Lillian Robinson finds the essence of wonder women in our non-animated three-dimensional world. This book will delight and provoke anyone interested in the history of feminism or the importance of comics in contemporary life.

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Wonder Women: Feminisms and Superheroes + The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines
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Review

"This book solidifies Lillian Robinson's place in that small pantheon of scholars who deserve to be recognized as feminist superheroes in their own right. No feminist scholar in our time has tackled the range of diverse topics that Robinson has, and "Wonder Women extends that range even further. Robinson probes the meanings of Wonder Woman, her sisters, and their ordinary avatars with her trademark wit and elan, brilliantly situating this relatively neglected chapter of popular culture in contexts that include Greek myths, social and political history, literature, economics, art history, media studies, gender studies, and postmodern theory. Bravo for this engaging, imaginative, and beautifully-written tour de force!."-Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Stanford University "Robinson provides an insightful cultural critique of the production of heroines."-Shannon Devine, "Herizons, Winter 2005 "But as Robinson's astute criticism demonstrates, we can take hope that through thoughtful, cumulative, and playful scholarship (as in witty and ironic) we can learn from the postmodern gaps, and their sources, and can fill the ourselves."-Shelley Armitage, University of Texas, El Paso, "Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature "Robinson has made a study of the female superhero that is both enjoyable and seriously relevant to contemporary concerns about power and image."-Marian Parish, Nassau Community College, "Science Fiction Studies

About the Author

Lillian Robinson is Principal of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University in Montreal. Among her books are Monstrous Regiment, Sex, Class, and Culture, and Night Market..

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
JAZZ. THE MOVIES. THE COMICS. These three art forms are the quintessence of American popular culture in the twentieth century and beyond. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Analyze what you know 2 Nov 2008
By Stefan Högberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"Wonder Women" would have been a very interesting book, had Robinson actually known the superhero comics which she attempts to analyze. Unfortunately, she doesn't -- she claims that a superhero's secret identity is not the superheroic one, but the one in plain clothes with a regular job. No, it's the other way around. She thinks that the Fantastic Four and nearly all other superheroes in the Marvel universe are mutants, when the idea of mutants as a well-defined minority is one of the cornerstones of that world. She claims that DC Comics's landmark crossover Crisis of Infinite Earths established a set of parallel realities in the company's stories, when the point of Crisis was to remove those parallel realities. Add to this a very aggressive attitude to just about anyone else who has ever written on the topic (especially Trina Robinson), and a tendency to wax poetic on her own short time as a comic reader in the forties, and it becomes surprising that the book manages to be interesting at times. It does manage that, but it could have been so, so much more.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rare moments of insight 27 April 2006
By Malvin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Wonder Women" by Lillian S. Robinson is a well-written book that, in the end, serves to alert us to the fact that feminist superheroines remain an almost nonexistent subject matter in the mainstream American comic book world. Stretching personal anecdotes, Greek mythology, and humorous side comments over the thin frame of her subject matter, at times the book strikes the reader as being little more than an exercise in intellectual self-indulgence. In fact, the author concedes that she penned "Wonder Women" in part as a distraction while she was writing a more serious and emotionally demanding piece of scholarship about rape. Nevertheless, I found that the book did succeed at times in providing rare moments of insight into a little-noted corner of the cultural studies world.

It was interesting to learn about the creator of Wonder Woman and his feminist ideals but disheartening to read about the comic's rapid decline in the hands of his successors. But while the feminist movement resulted in the revival of the character in the 1970s, the overall impression one gets is that Wonder Woman and mainstream comics in general remain perpetually stuck many years behind the real world in their depictions of female characters.

On that point, the author might have done well to follow the example set by Sherrie A. Inness (whose study of female action figures is published in the book "Action Chicks") who has found that risk-averse corporate marketing practices and parental anxieties about sex have conspired to make the toy store an overwhelmingly culturally conservative space that responds very slowly to cultural change. Might there be a similar dynamic at work in the comic publishing industry? We don't know, because on the one hand Ms. Robinson's book is conspicuously deficient in its failure to seriously discuss industrial practices and audience discourses; while on the other hand, we are treated to far too many of her cloyingly personal and random thoughts to engage in more meaningful analysis.

Still, "Wonder Women" has many fine moments that make for a worthwhile read. I recommend the book to all readers who may be intrigued by its quirky fusion of comic book culture with feminism.
4.0 out of 5 stars Muy bueno 3 Feb 2013
By Ruth García Martín - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Todo a sido perfecto. Ha llegado antes de lo previsto y en perfectas condiciones. No tengo ninguna queja, muy al contrario.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a delightful and critical read 11 April 2005
By sidekick in tights - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Rather than being merely celebratory, this book offers a nuanced - yet very accessible - feminist analysis of Wonder Woman. Framed as both a historical and contemporary icon, the Amazon princess represents many of the promises and limitations associated with strong and sexy female bodies in mass culture. Robinson's text demonstrates how Wonder Woman both mirrors and departs from ancient myths featuring powerful amazons and goddesses. The author shows us how such extraordinary female figures continue to haunt contemporary culture in different forms.

This book shows us how an analysis of comic book heroines (Wonder Woman, She-Hulk, Invisible Woman, and Elektra, for example) can contribute to ongoing discussions of women's (and girl's) "place" in our society, and is relevant to contemporary gender issues.

This makes Wonder Women not just a fun read, but a smart, witty, lively and engaging MUST-read.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and approachable 9 April 2005
By Gerald Kavanagh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After having read this book, I was struck by the manner in which the material is presented. The author is able to navigate the complexities of cultural critique while writing in an inclusive manner. Those who may not be familiar with either feminism or cultural studies will information that is accessible without being trite. The work is also quite enjoyable; the author has a very gripping style: an acdemic page turner if you will.
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