Pippi to Ripley: Conference on Heroines of Fantasy and Science Fiction, April 23, 2011

full name / name of organization: 
Katharine Kittredge/Ithaca College
contact email: 

An interdisciplinary conference examining images of girls and women appearing in comics, films, television, and video games as well as in folklore, Children's & YA fiction, and adult-directed texts.17

The last five years have seen a proliferation of images of lethal girls in a variety of media: Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy, "Hit Girl" from the film Kick-Ass, the teen-terminator "Cameron" from the TV series the Sarah Connor Chronicles, and the female characters from the comic/graphic novel The Runaways. This conference seeks to place this phenomenon in the context of the larger topic of heroines of folklore, fantasy, and science fiction. We are especially interested in the ways that these characters reflect and question dominant ideas of gender, class, and power. We wish to interrogate the extent to which such female figures exercise agency, or whether they merely appear to, within their fantasy and science fiction milieu. This conference welcomes papers on all aspects of female representation within an imaginative context , including but not limited to:
• A discussion of the child-heroines in folktales from many cultures.
• The evolution of characters such as Buffy (The Vampire Slayer), Cat Woman, and Red Sonja as they are presented in television, film, graphic novels/comics, or traditional fictional formats.
• The female characters in video games such as Tomb Raider, Metroid, and Mass Effect.
• The female characters featured in Shonen and Shojo manga as well as other images of heroic girls in anime films and television.
Robot , cyborg, and psychically enhanced girls.
• Female comic book characters such as Wonder Woman, The Runaways' Karolina and Molly, or the character of "Death" from The Sandman.
• YA heroines contained in the works of Madeleine L'Engle, Tamora Pierce, and Scott Westerfeld.
• The depiction of goddesses, Amazons, and other classically-derived female entities in twentieth and twenty-first century narratives.
Please send a 300-500 word abstract by December 15, 2010, to Katharine Kittredge, Ithaca College, Department of English, kkittredge@ithaca.edu