March is Women’s History Month. It is a time for celebration and reflection, to honour the women whose endeavours have brought us closer to gender parity, and to consider how we can take the movement for women’s liberation forward.

We will be doing a weekly blog on the multifaceted nature of women’s issues, discussing a few of these facets in detail through the lens of our relevant titles. This week looks at women and popular culture. The texts below consider the cultural and social influence of female celebrities and female characters in music, comics, film and TV.

Superheroines and the Epic Journey
Mythic Themes in Comics, Film and Television
Valerie Estelle Frankel
Apr 2017 277pp
9781476668789 Paperback
The heroine's journey echoes through ancient legend, as each young woman combats her dark side and emerges stronger. Of course, this quest is also a staple of the most American of mythologies - comic books. From Jessica Jones and Catwoman to the new superwomen of cutting-edge webcomics, each heroine must descend into the darkest place of all, not to become a warrior-hero but a saviour.

Ida Lupino, Director
Her Art and Resilience in Times of Transition
Therese Grisham & Julie Grossman
May 2017 264pp, 64 photographs
9780813574905 Paperback
The first in-depth study devoted to Ida Lupino's directorial work, this book makes a strong case for her as a trailblazing feminist auteur, a filmmaker with a clear signature style and an abiding interest in depicting the plights of postwar American women. Ida Lupino, Director not only examines her work as a cinematic auteur, but also offers a serious consideration of her diverse and long-ranging career.
Rutgers University Press

Wonder Woman

Noah Berlatsky
Feb 2017 264pp, 32 colour illustrations
9780813590431 Paperback
Comics Culture
Comics expert Noah Berlatsky takes us on a wild ride through the Wonder Woman comics of the 1940s, vividly illustrating how William Marston's many quirks and contradictions, along with the odd disproportionate composition created by illustrator Harry Peter, produced a comic that was radically ahead of its time in terms of its bold presentation of female power and sexuality.
Rutgers University Press


The Beyonce Effect
Essays on Sexuality, Race and Feminism
Edited by Adrienne Trier-Bieniek
2016 228pp
9780786499748 Paperback
Presents a detailed study of the music and persona of Beyonce - arguably the world's biggest pop star. Topics include the body politics of respectability; feminism, empowerment and gender in Beyonce's lyrics; black female pleasure; and the changing face of celebrity motherhood.

Feminist Perspectives on Orange Is the New Black
Thirteen Critical Essays
Edited by April Kalogeropoulos Householder & Adrienne Trier-Bieniek
2016 240pp
9781476663920 Paperback
Netflix's most watched series, garnering critical praise and numerous awards and advancing the cultural phenomenon of binge-watching. Examining the series from a number of feminist perspectives, this volume covers topics such as gender, race, class, sexuality, transgenderism, mass incarceration, disability, and sexual assault.

Film Fatales
Women in Espionage Films and Television, 1962-1973
Tom Lisanti & Louis Paul
2016 352pp, 120 illustrations
9781476667973 Paperback
Profiled in this volume are 107 dazzling women, well-known and unknown, who had film and television appearances in the spy genre. Each profile includes a filmography that lists the actresses' more notable films. Some include the actresses' candid comments and anecdotes about their films and television shows, the people they worked with, and their feelings about acting in the spy genre.