Invisible presence: the representation of women in the Francophone bande dessinée

MacLeod, Catriona (2013) Invisible presence: the representation of women in the Francophone bande dessinée. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information:


The francophone bande dessinée came of age in the late twentieth century, earning the title of “Ninth Art” and becoming increasingly accepted as a focus of critical discussion and academic analysis. However, despite this impressive evolution, the representation of women in the bande dessinée remains vastly understudied. This thesis thus aims to provide a first step in the analysis of female characters as a distinct phenomenon within the Ninth Art. It considers the evolution of female depiction throughout the twentieth-century medium and beyond, and provides close studies of specific female characters, the results of which are synthesised to present comparative conclusions relating to women in the bande dessinée as a whole. The historical and formal specificity of the medium is studied in relation to female representation to determine what may (or may not be) particular to the depiction of women in the bande dessinée.
As a medium that is overwhelmingly male-dominated in terms of creation as well as representation, the differing relations to BD production between genders, both historically and socially, are represented within this thesis in a division of chapters examining female representation by men and by women artists. The first and second chapters consider respectively the depiction of female primary and secondary figures created by men in the medium, studying specific character examples and reflecting on the varying ways of looking at women drawn into different roles. The third and final chapter analyses the representation of women figures by women artists, focusing on how the specificity of the medium may contribute to female depiction outside of dominant modes of production and representation.
Proposed next steps for continuing research on the representation of women in the bande dessinée form the conclusion to this work.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available.
Keywords: bande dessinée, representation of women, stereotypes of women, comics, feminist criticism, female artists
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > French
Supervisor's Name: Grove, Dr. Laurence
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Dr Catriona M. MacLeod
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4366
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2013 14:38
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2013 14:38

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