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  • © 2021

Women’s Agency in the Dune Universe

Tracing Women’s Liberation through Science Fiction

Palgrave Macmillan

Authors:

(view affiliations)
  • Focuses on female characters in the Dune series

  • Situates Herbert’s work within feminist science fiction

  • Engages with second-wave feminist theories particularly bodily agency

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eBook
USD 109.00
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  • ISBN: 978-3-030-89205-0
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
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  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD 139.99
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Table of contents (8 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xiii
  2. Mind-Body Synergy

    • Kara Kennedy
    Pages 27-68
  3. Reproduction and Motherhood

    • Kara Kennedy
    Pages 69-102
  4. Voices

    • Kara Kennedy
    Pages 103-135
  5. Education and Memory

    • Kara Kennedy
    Pages 137-175
  6. Sexuality

    • Kara Kennedy
    Pages 177-214
  7. Conclusion

    • Kara Kennedy
    Pages 215-220
  8. Back Matter

    Pages 221-239

About this book

This book undertakes the first large-scale analysis of women’s agency in Frank Herbert’s six-book science fiction Dune series. Kara Kennedy explores how female characters in the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood—from Jessica to Darwi Odrade—secure control and influence through five avenues of embodied agency: mind-body synergy, reproduction and motherhood, voices, education and memory, and sexuality. She also discusses constraints on their agency, tensions between individual and collective action, and comparisons with other characters including the Mentats, Bene Tleilaxu, and Honored Matres. The book engages with second-wave feminist theories and historical issues to highlight how the series anticipated and paralleled developments in the women’s liberation movement. In this context, it addresses issues regarding sexual difference and solidarity, as well as women’s demand to have control over their bodies. Kennedy concludes that the series should be acknowledged as a significant contribution to the genre as part of both New Wave and feminist science fiction.

Kara Kennedy is a researcher, writer, and educator in the areas of science fiction, digital literacy, and writing. She is an avid scholar of Dune who has lectured and published on various topics including world-building. She posts literary analyses of Dune for a mainstream audience on her blog DuneScholar.com.

Keywords

  • Science Fiction
  • Literature, Gender and Sexuality
  • second-wave feminism
  • Gender and STS
  • Literature, Science and Medicine Studies
  • Dune
  • Frank Herbert
  • bodily agency
  • feminist science fiction

Authors and Affiliations

  • Auckland, New Zealand

    Kara Kennedy

About the author

Kara Kennedy is a researcher, writer, and educator in the areas of science fiction, digital literacy, and writing. She is an avid scholar of Dune who has lectured and published on various topics including world-building. She posts literary analyses of Dune for a mainstream audience on her blog DuneScholar.com.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook
USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-89205-0
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)