edited by Bryan J. Carr and Meta G. Carstarphen
The Ohio State University Press, 2022
Cloth: 978-0-8142-1527-2 | Paper: 978-0-8142-5852-1 | eISBN: 978-0-8142-8247-2
Library of Congress Classification PN6714.G45 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 302.23082


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—communications, 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 superheroines, 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. 

Bryan J. Carr, Meta G. Carstarphen, Julie A. Davis, Rachel Grant, Annika Hagley, Amanda K. Kerhberg, Gregory P. Perreault, Mildred F. Perreault, CarrieLynn D. Reinhard, Maryanne A. Rhett, Stephanie L. Sanders, J. Richard Stevens, Anna C. Turner, Kathleen M. Turner-Ledgerwood, Robert Westerfelhaus