Tech in the News: How Science Fiction Films Like ‘Black Panther’ and ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Embrace Femininity
Posted March 9, 2018
External Article: The Washington Post
Lisa Yaszek, professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC) at Georgia Institute of Technology, was quoted in The Washington Post, March 9, article, “How Science Fiction Films Like ‘Black Panther’ and ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Embrace Femininity.” The School of Literature Media, and Communication is part of the Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.
In the first act of “Annihilation,” Natalie Portman’s character, a biologist and Army veteran named Lena, joins a crew planning to venture into Area X, a mysterious stretch of land surrounded by a translucent rainbow entity called the Shimmer. Multiple investigative teams have entered the Shimmer before, only to never be heard from again. So who are these undeterred explorers? Anya (Gina Rodriguez), a paramedic; Josie (Tessa Thompson), a physicist; Cass (Tuva Novotny), an anthropologist; and Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a psychologist… Like the Dora Milaje of “Black Panther” or time-traveling Meg Murry of “A Wrinkle in Time,” the scientists are shaped by their professions and gender. These recently released films dispute a mainstream perception of science fiction as a masculine genre, using feminine costumes and environments to build the strong-willed characters. Nothing will stop these women from overcoming the perilous obstacles ahead of them. “They stand up in the face of danger and shake their fists and say, ‘You won’t beat us,’ ” said Lisa Yaszek, a professor of science fiction studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Science fiction has been shaped by women since its inception: English novelist Mary Shelley, who first published “Frankenstein” nearly 200 years ago, is widely credited as its founder. Though still dominated by men when it hopped across the pond in the early 20th century, according to Yaszek, the genre “was never just about boys and their toys.” She estimated that from the 1920s to the 1970s, women made up about 15 percent of those working in the genre — or as much as 30 percent, if you include looser forms like fantasy.
For the full article, visit The Washington Post website.