Women as Spies in Popular Culture
By Rosie White
Published October 25th 2007 by Routledge – 166 pages
The female spy has long exerted a strong grip on the popular imagination. With reference to popular fiction, film and television Violent Femmes examines the figure of the female spy as a nexus of contradictory ideas about femininity, power, sexuality and national identity. Fictional representations of women as spies have recurrently traced the dynamic of women’s changing roles in British and American culture. Employing the central trope of women who work as spies, Rosie White examines cultural shifts during the twentieth century regarding the role of women in the professional workplace.
Violent Femmes examines the female spy as a figure in popular discourse which simultaneously conforms to cultural stereotypes and raises questions about women's roles in British and American culture, in terms of gender, sexuality and national identity.
Immensely useful for a wide range of courses such as film and television studies, English, cultural studies, women’s studies, gender studies, media studies, communications and history, this book will appeal to students from undergraduate level upwards.
Introduction 1. Spies, Lies and Sexual Outlaws: Male Spies in Popular Fiction 2. Femmes Fatale and British Grit: Women Spies in the First and Second World Wars 3. Dolly Birds: Female Spies in the 1960s 4. English Roses and All-American Girls: The New Avengers and The Bionic Woman 5. Nikita: From French Cinema to American Television 6. Alias: Quality Television and the Working Woman
Rosie White is Senior Lecturer in English at Northumbria University.