Amazons and Other Ass-Kickers: The Evolution of Superheroines

Join pop culture historian, Jennifer K. Stuller, for an engaging history of super and action heroines on screen.

April 19 - May 3, 2018

When director Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman (2017) grossed over $800 million worldwide, it disproved the Hollywood myth that action movies featuring female leads don't do well at the box office, and demonstrated, on the heels of the also wildly successful Mad Max: Fury Road and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, once and for all, that audiences were in fact craving them. But Rey, Furiosa, Diana, and Thor: Ragnarok's Valkyrie, are standing on the shoulders of oft-overlooked cinematic warrior women. In this survey class, pop culture historian Jennifer K. Stuller tells their story for a richer reading of superheroines on screen today.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

SIFF Film Center

Three Session Class 6:30 PM

Class Specifics:
Three Thursdays: April 19 - May 3, 2018
6:30PM - 9:30PM
SIFF Film Center
$50 | $45 SIFF Members (price includes all three classes)

Over three nights we'll travel through time and space with witches, superheroes, mutants, swordswomen, and ship captains as we consider how era and zeitgeist influence representation. Along the way, we'll discuss how characters like Barbarella, Supergirl, and Gamora reflect or subvert gender norms of their time, and how even problematic heroines in B-movie, blaxpolitation, and comic book-inspired genres can be revolutionary. Finally, we'll examine the potential of characters like General Leia, Jyn Erso, Misty Knight, and Hermione Granger to fuel our resistance movements in an age of Trump and the watershed #MeToo movement. Stuller will provide cultural context and expert insight throughout, and clips and conversation will illuminate a long history of Amazons and other ass-kickers.

Class Syllabus:
April 19: Daredevil Dames, Costumed Crusaders, and Private Dick Chicks
April 26: Girl Power and "Strong Female Characters" 
May 3: A Woman's Place is in the Rebellion - Superheroines for Resistance

Class Workload:
Recommended readings / film viewings will be provided to maximize enjoyment of the class.

About the Instructor:
Jennifer K. Stuller is a writer, media critic, and feminist pop culture historian. She is the author of Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology, and the editor of Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She has been published in BBC News, Bitch Media, and Geek Monthly. Additionally, Stuller is Co-Founder and former Board President of GeekGirlCon. A sought-after speaker, she brings her messages of media literacy and positive fandom to a variety of audiences, and speaks about geek culture and activism at conferences, libraries, and schools in the US and internationally. Stuller is a rebellion built on hope, and has vowed to use her powers only for good.