The Artemis Archetype in Fiction, Film, and Television: NeMLA Mar. 21-24, 2013, Boston

full name / name of organization: 
Susan Redington Bobby/NeMLA

Peggy Orenstein's "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" examines the ubiquitous Disney Princesses and their stranglehold on girl culture. Since 2000, when an executive altered the landscape of marketing strategies and revenue by creating the 'Princess' product line, the Disney Princesses have become role models for the majority of girls and young women. As Orenstein sums up, '…princesses avoid female bonding. Their goals are to be saved by a prince, get married…and be taken care of for the rest of their lives. Their value derives largely from their appearance.' In the face of such feminine disempowerment, is there an antidote to the plague of passive princesses dominating girl culture? The answer may lie in myth, through the Artemis archetype. As Jean Shonoda Bolen writes in "Goddesses in Everywoman", Artemis is '…a personification of an independent feminine spirit. The archetype she represents enables a woman to seek her own goals on terrain of her own choosing….Her identity and sense of worth is based on who she is and what she does, rather than whether she is married, or to whom.' While the Artemis archetype has been visible for several years in fiction, film, and television series, it has been brought to the forefront recently with the release of the film based on part one of Suzanne Collins's "The Hunger Games" trilogy. This archetype provides an alternative feminine role model to the damsel-in-distress, for Artemis is independent, self-reliant, tough, loyal, and nurturing, without relying on her appearance or sexuality to achieve power. In focusing on fiction, film, and television, we notice that Artemis is gaining ground, becoming the type of heroine young women may choose to emulate as opposed to her submissive sister-heroines.

Papers solicited for this panel will examine characters such as Buffy Summers, Zoe Washburne, Katniss Everdeen, Lisbeth Salander, Arya Stark, Serafina Pekkala, Detective Shakima 'Kima' Greggs, Emma Swan, Ellen Ripley, Black Mamba, Trinity, Princess Leia, and others, with an eye toward delineating the qualities that make the Artemis archetype a preferred heroine for our time.

Please submit 250-300 word abstracts to Susan Redington Bobby, panel chair, by 30 Sept. 2012.