Introduction: 'As if': women in genres of the fantastic, cross-platform entertainments and transmedial engagements

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Green, Stephanie
Howell, Amanda
Schubart, Rikke
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2019
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Abstract

The list of top-grossing films since the turn of the millennium is almost entirely dominated by genres of the fantastic – including fantasy, horror, speculative fictions, fairy-tales, sci-fi and superhero franchises. This is not entirely surprising in the world of blockbuster filmmaking, where fantasy genres have recurrently featured in the top 10 box office worldwide since the 1970s. The reach of such genres, however, currently goes well beyond the big screen. The genres of the fantastic are, increasingly, a favourite of so-called ‘Peak TV’ (Goldberg 2016), those high-cost, high-impact television programmes like Game of Thrones (HBO 2011-present) which are among the most visible productions of the recent boom in scripted originals, most hailing from premium cable and streaming companies like HBO, Netflix, HULU, and Amazon (Goldberg 2016; Ryan and Littleton 2017). Whether focused on superheroes, mythical dynasties, or heroic resistance to dystopian tyrannies, what fantastic films and programming have in common is a cognitive meta-thinking unique to humans, the quality of ‘as if’ imagining, which is said to generate ‘self-awareness and self-reflexivity’ (Bould 2002, 81), leading to ‘transformation and reflection’ (Feldt 2014, 2) and thus potentially to the creation of new cultural insights and formations and alternative social value frameworks.

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Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies

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33

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2

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© 2019 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Discourse on 24 Jan 2019, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/10304312.2019.1569381

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Screen and digital media

Screen and media culture

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Green, S; Howell, A; Schubart, R, Introduction: 'As if': women in genres of the fantastic, cross-platform entertainments and transmedial engagements, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 2019, 33 (2), pp. 153-159

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