1st Edition

Violent Femmes Women as Spies in Popular Culture

By Rosie White Copyright 2008
    176 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    176 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The female spy has long exerted a strong grip on the popular imagination. With reference to popular fiction, film and television Violent Femmes examines the figure of the female spy as a nexus of contradictory ideas about femininity, power, sexuality and national identity. Fictional representations of women as spies have recurrently traced the dynamic of women’s changing roles in British and American culture. Employing the central trope of women who work as spies, Rosie White examines cultural shifts during the twentieth century regarding the role of women in the professional workplace.

    Violent Femmes examines the female spy as a figure in popular discourse which simultaneously conforms to cultural stereotypes and raises questions about women's roles in British and American culture, in terms of gender, sexuality and national identity.

    Immensely useful for a wide range of courses such as film and television studies, English, cultural studies, women’s studies, gender studies, media studies, communications and history, this book will appeal to students from undergraduate level upwards.

    Introduction  1. Spies, Lies and Sexual Outlaws: Male Spies in Popular Fiction  2. Femmes Fatale and British Grit: Women Spies in the First and Second World Wars  3. Dolly Birds: Female Spies in the 1960s  4. English Roses and All-American Girls: The New Avengers and The Bionic Woman  5. Nikita: From French Cinema to American Television  6. Alias: Quality Television and the Working Woman


    Rosie White is Senior Lecturer in English at Northumbria University.

    Violent Femmes debates femininity, power sexuality and national identity as the back cover blurb promises, by examining representation via different media (non fiction, film, television, comic strip) and in different national contexts (France and Hong Kong are mentioned though focus is on UK and US material) In this way it broadens its appeal to several possible audiences and could be useful to a range of disciplines. Critical Studies in Television