My Fair Ladies: Female Robots, Androids, and Other Artificial Eves (Paperback)
  • My Fair Ladies: Female Robots, Androids, and Other Artificial Eves (Paperback)
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My Fair Ladies: Female Robots, Androids, and Other Artificial Eves (Paperback)

(author)
£29.95
Paperback 240 Pages / Published: 30/06/2015
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The fantasy of a male creator constructing his perfect woman dates back to the Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. Yet as technology has advanced over the past century, the figure of the lifelike manmade woman has become nearly ubiquitous, popping up in everything from Bride of Frankenstein to Weird Science to The Stepford Wives. Now Julie Wosk takes us on a fascinating tour through this bevy of artificial women, revealing the array of cultural fantasies and fears they embody.

My Fair Ladies considers how female automatons have been represented as objects of desire in fiction and how "living dolls" have been manufactured as real-world fetish objects. But it also examines the many works in which the manmade "perfect" woman turns out to be artificial - a robot or doll - and thus becomes a source of uncanny horror. Finally, Wosk introduces us to a variety of female artists, writers, and filmmakers - from Cindy Sherman to Shelley Jackson to Zoe Kazan- who have subversively appropriated the figure of the manmade woman.

Anything but dry, My Fair Ladies draws upon Wosk's own experiences as a young female Playboy copywriter and as a child of the "feminine mystique" era to show how images of the artificial woman have loomed large over real women's lives. Lavishly illustrated with film stills, artwork, and vintage advertisements, this book offers a fresh look at familiar myths about gender, technology, and artistic creation.

Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813563374
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 428 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'The clarity and the engaging style of Wosk's descriptions-not to mention the images included in the book-make of My Fair Ladies a veritable trove of resources for teachers and students of gender, culture, and the media, particularly in introductory level courses.'
-Feminist Media Studies

'Julie Wosk - professor of art history and author of My Fair Ladies: Female Robots, Androids and other artificial Eves explored pop culture representations of sex robots, from Ex Machina's Ava to Good Girl's brothel-owned learning sex bot. Sex robots are most commonly female, beautiful and subservient, and Wosk pointed out that in pop culture they also have a tendency to rebel. Westworld, Humans, Ex Machina - all include strong, often terrifying, female robots who gain consciousness, and could be seen as a manifestation of society's fears of women gaining power.'
- The Guardian, 2016

'Dr. Wosk cited men's quest to create a robot in the guise of "The Perfect Woman"-a robot like the ones in The Stepford Wives films that were sexy, soothing, compliant, and never had any needs or ambitions of their own. But in today's films like Ex Machina, and in television series like the hugely popular Westworld and Humans, female robots go rogue-sometimes even committing murder in order to retaliate against abuse or to gain their own freedom.'
- Huffington Post

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