Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Volume 7, Number 2

Issue 7.2 Table of Contents:
[Cover Image: The Grain Goddess (2001) by Jenna Weston]FEMSPEC VOLUME 7.2

Batya Weinbaum gives an overview of the journal and announces numerous achievements and future projects at FemSpec. The winners of the first 'Five Year Contest' are revealed; a new section begins called 'Ethnography Through Your Soul' which combines personal narrative with current research; a forthcoming feature called 'This Should Have Been Printed In Femspec' is presented; and a memorial section begins by commemorating Tillie Olsen and Monique Wittig.

BRUCE E. DRUSHEL: Pandora's Box in Cyberspace: The On-line Alternative Fan Sites of Hercules: The Legendary Journey
Drushel looks at the North American television show, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. It provides a background to the show and to the community of fans who express their admiration by writing their own stories based on the series. Bruce Drushel investigates various websites where fans write fiction, and makes a detailed inquiry of some of the homoerotic or 'slash' writing.

ROMAYNE SMITH FULLERTON: Not 'Of Woman Born': Fairy Tale Mothers for Postmodern Literary Children.
Fullerton examines the subversive potential of re-casting fairy tale stereotypes into postmodern fiction, focusing on the writers Angela Carter, Jenny Diski and Jeanette Winterson. Romayne Smith Fullerton writes about how these authors have adapted and borrowed from the monstrous and imaginative characters of classic tales. Her argument suggests that by tinkering with these stereotypes, the writers in her study have discovered ways to limit the unhappy realities of patriarchy in their fiction. This is done by challenging and sidestepping the problems of the feminine in fairy tales.

MARY KIRK: Vision of the Possible: Models for Women's Heroic Journey Applied to Madrone's Path in The Fifth Sacred Thing.
Kirk applies a series of feminist interpretations to the myth of the hero. By pointing out the somewhat misogynist, mono-myth of the male hero as laid out in the work of Joseph Campbell, Mary Kirk explores other models of heroism created by feminist scholars such as Susan Lichtman, Carol Pearson, and Katherine Pope. Mary Kirk then tests out these models by applying them to a self-actualized character who lives in a feminist utopia: Madrone in Starhawk's first novel, The Fifth Sacred Thing.

C. S'THEMBILE WEST: The Competing Demands of Community Survival and Self-Preservation in Octavia Butler's Kindred.
West demonstrates that Octavia Butler's novel Kindred is both instructive and challenging because it forces the reader to re-imagine the complicated decisions made by Black women during chattel enslavement. C S'Thembile West outlines the complexity of Black women's lives and emphasizes the connections between the practice of chattel slavery, US economic viability and contemporary social problems.

GLORIA ORENSTEIN: When the Imaginary Becomes Real, as Surrealism Said It Would: 'All the Rest Is Litterature'
Gloria Orenstein writes about her journey to Lapland and initiation by a Sami shaman. She tries to assimilate these strange experiences into her belief system using the surrealist conviction that acts of the imagination can begin to manifest themselves into reality. Her spiritual journey gives her a greater tolerance and respect for her own religious background and those of her students.

ELLA JO STREET: The Origin of Tarot
A series of chance encounters leads Ella Jo Street on a journey to Bishnupur in North East India, searching out the origins of the Tarot Pack. There she meets Mr. Fouzdar, the only person in the world who is currently painting Dasabatar cards. These large circular cards, originating from the 14th Century bare remarkable similarities to Tarot Cards and lead Ella Jo Street to wonder about the historical and linguistic links between the packs.

MONICA DE NEYMET DE GIACOMAN: Living Hours (excerpt)
With an introduction by Batya Weinbaum , FemSpec presents a translated excerpt from M'nica de Neymet de Giacoman's first novel Las Horas Vivas.

KATHLEEN McCONNELL: The Inevitable Feminist Treatise on Catwoman (excerpt)
A comic poem outlining preparations for a text on the much maligned film Catwoman, with references to many other television and cinema heroines.

AIDAN THOMPSON: Maple Tree (excerpt from Crossings)
A short text takes the reader from Oberlin Lane to Calcutta, by way of Georgia O'Keeffe, Paul Simon and a very talented owl.

ERIC DROWN: 'Buffy, Who?' Review of Athena's Daughters: Television's New Woman Warriors, edited by Frances Early and Kathleen Kennedy.

ERIC DROWN: 'Ooooo!, We Hate Bush.' Review of Hollywood's New Radicalism: War, Globalization and the Movies from Reagan to George W. Bush, by Ben Dickerson.

SHANNAN PALMA: Review of From Alien to The Matrix: Reading SF Films,
by Roz Kaveney.

A memorial to Tillie Lerner Olsen (1912 - 2007) by Ardys of Berkeley.
A memorial to Monique Wittig (1935 - 2003) by Gloria Orenstein.

BOOKS AND MEDIA RECEIVED: 44 titles of interest.

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