Fantasy Girls: Gender in the New Universe of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television

Front Cover
Elyce Rae Helford
Rowman & Littlefield, Jan 1, 2000 - Performing Arts - 273 pages
3 Reviews
A new collection on women in American television in the 90s uncovers a cultural obsession with tough yet sexy heroines in mythical pasts, the "girl power" present, and utopic futures. Xena, Buffy, Sabrina, and a host of other characters have become household words, as well as icons of pop culture 'feminism.' Their popularity makes for successful programming, however, how much does this trend truly represent a contemporary feminist breakthrough? And what does it mean for feminism in the next few decades? Fantasy Girls: Navigating the New Universe of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television seeks to explore as well as challenge the power and the promises of this recent media phenomenon. Such TV programming offers the exciting opportunity to rethink established gender norms, but how far is it really pushing the limits of the status quo? Amidst the exuberant optimism of fanzines and doting fan websites, the contributors to this volume endeavor to provide us with a much needed critical analysis of this contemporary trend. These essays explore the contradictions and limitations inherent in the genre, forcing readers to take a fresh and critical look through a variety of lenses including girl power, postfeminism, cyborg feminism, disability politics, queer studies, and much more. Programs covered are Babylon 5, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Disney's Cinderella, Lois and Clark, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Star Trek: Voyager, The X-Files, Third Rock from the Sun, and Xena: Warrior Princess.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Fantasy Girls: Gender in the New Universe of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television

User Review  - Tortla - Goodreads

I didn't read this particularly thoroughly, but there were insightful analyses of Sabrina, Third Rock from the Sun, and Xena which I skimmed because I'd seen all of those shows to some extent in my ... Read full review

Review: Fantasy Girls: Gender in the New Universe of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television

User Review  - Angela - Goodreads

When my [used, because it's a whopping $40 new] copy of Fantasy Girls arrived, I initially dismissed it as one of those academic press collections of very unrelated essays. However, while written by ... Read full review


Speculating on the Present
Sabrina the Teenage? Girls Witches Mortals and the Limitations of PrimeTime Feminism
The Cartesian Novum of Third Rock from the Sun Gendering Human Bodies and Alien Minds
Scully Hits the Glass Ceiling Postmodernism Postfeminism Posthumanism and The XFile
Lois s Locks Trust and Representation in Lois and Clark The New Adventures of Superman
Dabbling in the Fantastic
Whats Happening on Earth? Mystery Science Theater 3000 as Reflection of Gender Roles and Attitudes toward Women
To Be a Vampire on Buffy the Vampire Slayer Race and Other Socially Marginalizing Positions on Horror TV
Biology Is Not Destiny Biology Is Fantasy Cinderella or to Dream Disneys ImpossiblePossible Race Relations Dream
Projecting the Future
Science Race and Gender in Star Trek Voyager
The Construction of Feminine Identity in Babylon 5
No Ramps in Space The Inability to Envision Accessibility in Star Trek Deep Space Nine
About the Contributors

Feminism Queer Studies and the Sexual Politics of Xena Warrior Princess

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2000)

Elyce Rae Helford is associate professor of English at Middle Tennessee State.

Bibliographic information