Katie Pickles, „Heroines in History: A Thousand Faces“

Heroines in History: A Thousand Faces moves beyond stories of individual heroines, taking a thematic, synthesising and global in scope approach to challenge previous understandings of heroines in history.

Responding to Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces, Katie Pickles explores the idea of a transcultural heroine archetype that recurs through time. Each chapter addresses an archetypal theme important for heroines in history. The volume offers a new consideration of the often-awkward position of women in history and embeds heroines in the context of their times, as well as interpreting and analysing how their stories are told, re-told and represented at different moments. To do so it recovers and compares some women now forgotten, along with well-known recent heroines and brings together a diversity of women from around the world. Pickles looks at the interplay of gender, race, heredity status, class and politics in different ways and chronicles the emergence of heroines as historical subjects valued for their substance and achievements, rather than as objects valued for their image and celebrity.

In an accessible and original way, the book builds upon developments in women’s and gender history and is essential reading for anyone interested in this field.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: the heroine with a thousand faces?

2 Mothers: super-womanly, spiritual Goddess power

3 Warriors: modern Amazons serving their people

4 Callings: from selfless to gloriously selfish

5 Cross-dressing: the limits of binary identity

6 Death and disability: a heroine’s lot

7 Feminist icons and role models: white, female and middle class

8 Glamour: all image and no substance?

9 Conclusion: plastic body parts, celebrity mothers, Perspex cages and a new Joan of Arc

Katie Pickles is Professor of History at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She was the recipient of a Te Apārangi Royal Society of New Zealand James Cook Research Fellowship for ‘the heroine with a thousand faces.’ Her research examines heroism, intersectional identities and decolonisation. She is also the author of Female Imperialism and National Identity: Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (2002/09), Transnational Outrage: The Death and Commemoration of Edith Cavell (2007/15) and Christchurch Ruptures (2016).