Wonderwoman: Comic Myth or Idealized Icon?, NeMLA 2018

deadline for submissions: 
September 28, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Nicol Michelle Epple, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, NeMLA Annual Conference 2018, Pittsburgh, April 12-15th
contact email: 

We know the four tenets of True Womanhood and understand the Feminine Mystique. But, today, what gender role prescriptions still proliferate concerning domesticity and work, family affairs and public relationships? Anne-Marie Slaughter tells us women still can’t have it all. Barbara Spar shreds the Superwoman myth. But, Ariana Huffington tells us we can THRIVE if we just have the third metric. These three notably professional women have differing views. Can and should women decorate like the Gaines, cook like the Barefoot Contessa, thrive professionally like Huffington, be sexy as Kim Kardashian, not miss kids’ soccer practices, and all the while smiling? Has or can contemporary women break out of the American ideological boundaries? And at what costs?

With a surge of reemergent feminist social activism, marked in part by the Women’s March on D.C. this past January, discussions of feminisms remain strong. Who and what are the cultural identity creators? The women mentioned above are all white women. What of women of color, what are their experiences? What are those of non-professional working women?

This panel seeks to create discussion which explores feminist theories and material applications in current American cultural landscapes. What changes have transpired from past feminist viewpoints and what speculations can made of feminist scholarship and cultural production for the future?