Prof. Carr publishes “Gendered Defenders: Marvel’s Heroines in Transmedia Spaces”

UW-Green Bay Communication and Information Science Professor Bryan J. Carr, along with his co-editor Meta G. Carstarphen of the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, has published a new edited volume of scholarship pertaining to feminism and gender identity across the various arms of the Marvel transmedia empire. Published through the Ohio State University Press, this exciting new work is titled, “Gendered Defenders: Marvel’s Heroines in Transmedia Spaces”.

Details from the publisher:

Gendered Defenders: Marvel’s Heroines in Transmedia Spaces delivers dynamic and original analyses of how women perform in super heroic spaces. Contributors from a range of disciplinary perspectives—communication, international relations, cultural and media studies, english, history, and public policy—take on Marvel’s representations of women and gender to examine how relations of power are (re)produced, understood, and challenged.

Through vivid retellings of character-based scenarios, these essays examine Carol Danvers, Jessica Jones, Ms. Marvel, Shuri, Pepper Potts, Black Widow, and Squirrel Girl across media forms to characterize and critique contemporary understandings of identity, feminism, power, and gender. Collectively, Gendered Defenders challenges notions about female identity while illuminating the multidimensional portrayals that are enabled by the form of speculative fiction.

Making explicit the connections between women’s lived experiences and the imagined exploits of super heroines, contributors explore how these pop culture narratives can help us understand real-world gender dynamics and prepare pedagogical, political, and social strategies for dealing with them.

“Gendered Defenders” has also earned some early praise from fellow authors.

Gendered Defenders is a welcome piece of the larger puzzle of scholarship on superheroes and their connections to genre and gender. Engaging meaningfully with intersectional elements of femininity including ethnicity, sexuality, class, and trauma, it elevates super heroines as an access point to a range of issues of importance for modern women. —Jeffrey A. Brown, author of Beyond Bombshells: The New Action Heroine in Popular Culture

We need a book like this to help navigate the meaning of some of the most prominent representations of female heroism. Gendered Defenders is a valuable stepping-stone for future post-feminist and queer perspectives on these same characters. —Terrence Wandtke, author of The Meaning of Superhero Comic Books

“Gendered Defenders” is available now in hardcover, paperback, and digital form from The Ohio State University Press and is available for preorder from other major retailers. This is Carr’s second book covering the transmedia nature of the Marvel brand; his first, “The Transmedia Construction of the Black Panther: Long Live the King”, was released by Lexington Books in April, 2022.

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