Introduction: ‘As if’: women in genres of the fantastic, cross-platform entertainments and transmedial engagements

Stephanie Green*, Amanda Howell, Rikke Schubart

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The list of top-grossing films since the turn of the millennium is almost entirely dominated by genres of the fantastic — including fantasy, horror, speculative fictions, fairytales, sci-fi, and superhero franchises. The reach of such genres currently goes beyond the big screen. The genres of the fantastic are, increasingly, a favourite of so-called ‘Peak TV’ (Goldberg 2016), those high-cost, high-impact television programs like Game of Thrones (HBO 2011-present) which are among the most visible productions of the recent boom in scripted originals. Whether focused on superheroes, mythical dynasties, or heroic resistance to dystopian tyrannies, what fantastic films and programming have in common is a cognitive meta-thinking unique to humans, the quality of ‘as if’ imagining, which is said to generate ‘self-awareness and self-reflexivity’ (Bould 2002, 81), leading to ‘transformation and reflection’ (Feldt 2014, 2) and thus potentially to the creation of new cultural insights and formations and alternative social value frameworks. A central aim of this Special Issue is to explore the (aspirational) hypothesis that, because they encapsulate imaginative acts and creativity, the genres of the fantastic open up spaces of possibility, offering new affordances, new perceptions of what might be possible.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftContinuum - journal of media & cultural studies
Vol/bind33
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)153-159
ISSN1030-4312
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 4. mar. 2019

Bibliografisk note

This special issue of Continuum looks at women in the fantastic across media platforms and media forms - film, tv, computer games. The list of top-grossing films since the turn of the millennium is almost entirely dominated by genres of the fantastic — including fantasy, horror, speculative fictions, fairytales, sci-fi, and superhero franchises. The reach of such genres currently goes beyond the big screen. The genres of the fantastic are, increasingly, a favourite of so-called ‘Peak TV’.

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