Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jennifer K. Stuller

Jennifer K. Stuller is a writer and journalist, specializing in gender and sexuality in popular culture. She has been researching and speaking internationally on superwomen for over a decade. Her new book is Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology.

From her Q & A with Kjerstin Johnson at Bitch Magazine:

What is Modern Mythology? Who are ink-stained Amazons?

Mythology refers to a body of stories and to storytelling. Therefore our modern mythology can be found in comics, film, television, and novels. Modern myth serves a function similar to that of ancient myth, namely, telling and hearing stories helps us make sense of our lives. Narratives reflect the world and comment on it as they document events and also imagine them. Stories meditate on human behavior and interrogate the meaning of big ideas: Good and Evil, Morality, Spirituality, Justice, Relationships, Community, Power, and Love. (Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an example of a series that excelled at addressing these complex, yet universal, ideas.) The same basic themes our ancestors contemplated, crafted to be relevant to their particular and specific time, place, and cultures, are continually revisited through the ages, part of humanity’s endless search for meaning.

The phrase “ink-stained Amazons” was coined by Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, who condemned women writers as “damned scribbling women” and “ink-stained Amazons.” So for me the term is a reclamation (much like the once derogatory, “bitch”). It celebrates women writers, our fingers stained with ink from our quills and our Amazonian strength when faced with those who might seek to silence us. I love the phrase so much that I named my website, Ink-Stained Amazon, and have utilized it as my personal brand.

I also find it evocative of women in comic books – Amazons have so often been used in modern mythology as shorthand for...[read on]
Read more about Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology.

Visit Jennifer K. Stuller's website and blog.

Read--Coffee with a canine: Jennifer K. Stuller & Giles and Wesley.

--Marshal Zeringue