Monday, 7 April 2014

OUT NOW: Hannah Priest (ed.), The Female of the Species: Cultural Constructions of Evil, Women and the Feminine (Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2013)



Blurb:

From Alien Queens to prostitutes, 'phallic' mothers to child murderers, evil women proliferate across cultural productions that span millennia. This collections explores the perennial question of 'evil' and its relationship to women and femininity. Taking as their starting points material as diverse as Greek mythology, nineteenth-century medical texts, Elizabethan drama and contemporary cartoons, and informed by various theoretical perspectives, the authors scrutinise the construction of the feminine as evil, and vice versa. Throughout these essays, recurring anxieties of female agency, reproduction and the appropriation of patriarchal power are identified and explored. As the writers reveal, these anxieties are not always situated within the anatomically or genetically 'female' (or even human) body, but rather in culturally-constructed and pervasive concepts of femininity - which is at once recognisable and abject, necessary and disavowed. These essays reveal the strategies of construction and maintenance upon which the reification of feminine evil are based.

Contents

- Introduction, by Hannah Priest

Part I: Writing the Evil Woman

- Medea's Medicine: Women and Pharmaka in Greek Mythology, by Alison Innes
- The Representation of the Evil Woman in Elizabethan Literature, by Abdulaziz Al-Mutawa
- (De)centring Women in Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, by Zubaidah Mohamed Shaburdin

Part II: Reproductive Evils

- Alien Queens and Monstrous Machines: The Conflation of the Out-of-Control Female and Robotic Body, by Simon Bacon
- The Ultimate Cold War Monster: Exploring 'Mother' in the Film The Manchurian Candidate, by Kathleen Starck
- The Tainted Birth in Lovecraft's Fiction, by C├ęcile Cristofari

Part III: The Evil That Women Do

- Sugar and Spice, But Not Very Nice: Depictions of Evil Little Girls in Cartoons and Comics, by Jacquelyn Bent, Helen Gavin and Theresa Porter
- A Wellspring of Contamination: The Transgressive Body of the Prostitute in Nineteenth-Century Medical Discourse, by J. Shoshanna Ehrlich
- Myra: Portrait of a Portrait, by Shelley Campbell

For more information, please visit the publisher's website.

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