Perceiving Evil: Evil, Women and the Feminine

Perceiving Evil -  Evil Women and the Feminine Front

Perceiving Evil: Evil, Women and the Feminine


Edited by David Farnell, Rute Noiva, Kirsten Smith

Year: 2015

Format: eBook (PDF)

Perceiving Evil: Evil, Women and the Feminine, is is a fascinating collection of studies built on the construction of female evil that reaches back into mythological ideals and follows their mutation and insertion into contemporary popular culture.

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How do we perceive evil? And why are so many notions of evil connected with women? The mermaid, the witch, the femme fatale, the bitch: these are all representations of evil women or women who have subverted the conventional ideas of femininity. Kept alive in oral tradition and hidden in the unspoken rules of society, the dangerous, evil woman lives on to define what we believe a woman should be.

Through the various prisms of popular culture, forensic psychology, veterinary medicine and many more this collection aims to examine the ideas of evil, women and the feminine. The collection focuses on why we as a society perceive certain women or aspects of femininity to be evil and why we can have certain emotional reactions to this. It examines the background to these perceptions, whether they are rooted in literature, myth, history or fact and what this means for the development of both masculinity and femininity.

Introduction: Perceiving Evil: Evil, Women and the Feminine
David Farnell, Rute Noiva, Kirsten Smith

Part I Myths and Tales: Fear and Adoration in the Feminine

Sacrificing Narratives in Medea
Colin Dignam

In the Wake of the Mermaid: Our Beautiful Monsters
David Farnell and Rute Noiva

Laura Palmer: A Monstrosity of Multiple Meanings
Anne Bettina Pedersen

Part II The Cult of the Witch: Powerful Women as the Face of Evil

Evil and Superstition in Sub-Saharan Africa: Religious Infanticide and Filicide
Chima Agazue and Helen Gavin

Fearing the Witch, Hating the Bitch: The Double Structure of Misogyny in Stephen King’s Carrie
Paris Shun-Hsiang Shih

Witchcraft and Bitchcraft: A Portrayal of the Witch Character in American Horror Story: Coven
Elisabete Lopes

Xayide, Enchantress or Femme Fatale? Magic and Empathy at the Service of Manipulation in Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story
Saul Andreetti

Part III The Evil in Play: Female Evil Characters in Theatre and Film

What is Evil Femininity in British Theatre? A Comparative Analysis of Shakespeare’s King Lear and Edward Bond’s Lear
Susana Nicolás Román

Salome and Lulu Re-Incarnated: Evil Women as Meta-Poetic Figures on the Croatian Modernist Stage
Lada Čale Feldman

Women as the Devil: Demonic Possessions in Contemporary Spanish Horror Film
Irene Baena Cuder

Monstrous Women and the Subversion of Patriarchy in Nikos Nikolaidis’ Films Singapore Sling and See You in Hell, My Darling
Mikela Fotiou

Evil Women and the Feminine: The Eternal Vamp and The Construction of Pola Negri’s Star Persona in 1920’s America
Agata Frymus

Part IV I Spy a Woman: Women and the War Effort

‘Keep Mum, She’s Definitely Not Dumb’: The Complex and Cunning Femme Fatale in Espionage Fiction and History
Kirsten Smith

Maud Allan, the Cult of the Clitoris and the Future of Britain
Anthony Patterson

Translation of Evil: Ken Kesey’s Miss Ratched in the Original and in the Russian Translation
Natalia Kaloh Vid

Part V The Evil among Us: Evil Women in Contemporary Society

Jealous Men but Evil Women: The Double Standard in Cases of Domestic Homicide
Helen Gavin

Evil Women and Hyperfemininity: Hyper-Gender Role and Sexual Offending by Women
Theresa Porter and Jacqueline Bent

David Farnell is an associate professor of English with the Language Education and Research Centre at Fukuoka University, Japan. His research focus is on utopian and dystopian themes in literature.

Rute Noiva is a M.Sc. D.V.M. and Ph.D. student in veterinary health at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Research in Animal Health (CIISA) – Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (University of Lisbon). Her research area is veterinary pathology.

Kirsten Smith is an Associate Lecturer based at Lancaster University, UK. Her interests lie in cultural representations, espionage history, gender and the Cold War.