Doctor of Philosophy in English
First Committee Member
Evelyn Gajowski, Chair
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Graduate Faculty Representative
Number of Pages
My dissertation is an exploration of how femininity is constructed in the characters of warrior women. I define and apply my theory of believable femininity: the notion that in order for characters gendered female to be accepted by an audience, specific textual markers must render them submissive to a dominating male figure. I examine the following warrior women at length: Britomart and Radigund from Spenser's The Faerie Queene; Christine de Pizan's treatment of Amazons in her Book of the City of Ladies and Hippolyta's specific portrayal by de Pizan in comparison to Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, and the modern recreation of Hippolyta in DC Comics' Wonder Woman series; Joan of Arc as she appears in Shakespeare's 1 Henry VI and Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan; the figure of Wonder Woman herself as a comic book and cultural phenomenon. My purpose is to illuminate what I feel is an unexamined requirement in warrior women that their strength always be subsumed by their femininity.
Believable femininity; Early modern; Shakespeare; Spenser; Wonder Woman
American Popular Culture | Comparative Literature | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Literature in English, British Isles | Literature in English, North America | Medieval Studies
McCall, Jessica D., "Woman or warrior? How believable femininity shapes warrior women" (2011). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 953.
American Popular Culture Commons, Comparative Literature Commons, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Commons, Literature in English, British Isles Commons, Literature in English, North America Commons, Medieval Studies Commons