New books examine violent women and queer girls on screen

Monash University’s School of Media, Film and Journalism has recently celebrated the launch of two exciting new titles in film and screen studies: Dr Janice Loreck’s Violent Women in Contemporary Cinema  and Dr Whitney Monaghan’s Queer Girls, Temporality and Screen Media: Not ‘Just a Phase’.

Dr Loreck and Dr Monaghan are assistant lecturers at Monash and graduates of the Film, Media and Communications HDR program.

Associate Professor Belinda Smaill and Dr Claire Perkins launched the books, which have both been published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016.


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Violent Women in Contemporary Cinema explores the exciting challenge posed by women who kill through six films released over the last 20 years: Antichrist (Lars von Trier, 2009), Trouble Every Day (Claire Denis, 2001), Baise-moi (Coralie Thinh Thi and Virginie Despentes, 2000), Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson, 1994), Monster (Patty Jenkins, 2003) and The Reader (Stephen Daldry, 2008).

Exploring how these films play with cultural ideas of ‘typical’ feminine behaviour and the challenges presented to these by homicidal women, this daring work takes up a unique focus on the depiction of violent women in contemporary art and critically-distinguished films.

Exploring the appeal that violent women hold for spectators within this viewing context, Loreck opens up the discussion of how cinema responds to the cultural construction of the violent woman as a conundrum and enigma.


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Queer Girls, Temporality and Screen Media: Not ‘Just a Phase’
offers a key intervention into the growing scholarship and increasing visibility of queer characters in films and television series around the globe.

Taking up the queer girl as a represented and rhetorical figure within film, television and video, this book analyses the terms of the queer girl’s newfound visibility.

Monaghan’s clear critical perspective argues for a temporal logic that underpins many representations of queer girlhood.

Examining an archive of screen texts that includes teen television series, teenpics, art-house, queer and independent cinemas as well as new forms of digital video, she expands current discourse on both queer representation and girls’ studies by looking at sexuality through themes of temporality.

The first full-length study of its kind, this book draws on concepts of boredom, nostalgia and transience to offer a new perspective on queer representation in contemporary screen media.