CFP: The Women of James Bond

full name / name of organization: 
Lisa Funnell / University of Oklahoma
contact email: 
lfunnell@ou.edu

CFP: The Women of James Bond - Critical Perspectives on Feminism and Femininity in the Bond Franchise

Editor: Lisa Funnell, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, lfunnell@ou.edu

The release of Skyfall in 2012 marked the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise. The 23rd film in the series, Skyfall earned over one billion dollars (USD) in the worldwide box-office and won two Academy Awards (Best Sound Editing and Best Song). Amidst such popular and critical acclaim, many have questioned the representation of women in the film, viewing Skyfall in relation to the Bond film franchise at large. From the representation of an aging and disempowered M, to the limited role of the Bond Girl, to the characterization of Miss Moneypenny as a defunct field agent, Skyfall arguably develops the legacy of James Bond at the expense of women in the film. While the character of James Bond has historically been defined by his relationship with women (and particularly through heterosexual romantic conquest) and the franchise has long been accused of being sexist (among other things), the treatment of women in Skyfall recalls the media-driven backlash against feminist gains in the 1970s, which impacted the representation of women in the series—with the disempowering of female villains and the domestication of the Bond Girl. Since the prequel Casino Royale (2006) and its sequels Quantum of Solace (2008) and Skyfall (2012) constitute a rebooting of the franchise, it leads many scholars, like myself, to question if there is a place for women in the new world of James Bond and, if so, what role will these women play in the future of series?

This book seeks to answer these questions by examining the role that women have historically played in the Bond franchise, which greatly contributed to the international success of its films. This collection constitutes the first book-length academic study of the women of James Bond that moves beyond the discussion of a single character type (such as the Bond Girl) or group of films (such as the Connery era). This anthology will redress this critical oversight by providing a comprehensive examination of feminism and femininity in the Bond franchise. It not only focuses on the representation of women on screen (via casting, characterization, and aspects of stardom), but also includes a consideration of the role women have played in producing and marketing the franchise, female fandom and spectatorship, female scholarship on the franchise, and the widespread influence of the Bond series on the representation of female characters in other (non-Bond) films. This collection will offer a timely and retrospective look at the franchise, in light of the 50 year anniversary of the series, and provide new scholarly perspectives on the subject.

Proposals are welcomed on the following topics:

i) Female Representation
• key characters/character types (Bond Girl, Bad Girl, M, Moneypenny)
• close readings of specific films
• trends in casting and characterization (between eras/phases of Bond)
• response of the films to different waves of feminism
• other women (e.g. opening credit sequence, secondary characters, movie posters)

ii) Women Producing/Marketing Bond
• the influence of Barbara Broccoli and other creative personnel
• musicians lending their voices and star power to the films (i.e. the musical “Bond Girls”)

iii) Female Fandom and Spectatorship
• reception studies of female spectatorship
• examination of the female pleasures in watching Bond

iv) Female Scholarship on Bond
• the ease/struggle in studying Bond
• the perception of female scholars in this field of study
• teaching and writing on Bond from a female perspective

v) Influence of the Bond Films on Women in Other Films
• the Bond Girl character type (e.g. True Lies)
• James Bond (e.g. Lady Bond films in Hong Kong)
• parodies/plays of the Bond films (e.g. Austin Powers, Agent Cody Banks)

Please send a 500-word abstract (with bibliography and filmography) and an author bio as email attachments by May 15, 2013 to Lisa Funnell lfunnell@ou.edu

cfp categories: 
film_and_television
gender_studies_and_sexuality
popular_culture