Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This project shows how central representations of women in science were to the “B” science fiction films of the 1950s and uses these films as valuable indicators for cultural analysis. I argue that the emergence of the modern American science fiction film in 1950 combined with the situation of post-W.W.II women in science to create a genre explicitly amenable to exploring the tension between a woman’s place in the home and her place in the work force, particularly in the fields of science. Out of a context of 114 “B” science fiction films produced between 1950 and 1966, I offer substantial readings of seven films that feature women in science. Using changing gender roles after W.W.II as an analytical focus, each chapter explores relationality within films, among films, and between films and the culture in which they were produced, distributed, and consumed in order to make visible overall gender patterns, kinship systems, and possibilities for imagining change. The conclusion to the project uses the conceptual framework that has been established to suggest possibilities for a more thorough analysis of the American science fiction film genre, in particular as that genre resonates with concerns relevant to feminist theory.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Elsie B. Michie