In this episode, I interview a very special guest - my Dad! My dad provides insights as a lifelong fan of the franchise and a member of the original target market for the films. We discuss what initially attracted him to the series, why he introduced the films to his family, and some of his thoughts on both the Eon and non-Eon Bond films. My dad also provides some of his sage wisdom (such as "baffle them with bullshit") and offers some insights into my personality as a daughter, professor, and now podcaster. With the holidays around the corner, this podcast is a way for me to give/gift to you a little piece of my home for the holidays!
In this episode, I speak with Dr. Sam Goodman, author of British Spy Fiction and the End of Empire (Routledge 2015). We discuss the rise of spy fiction writers in the post-war and Cold War era, focusing particularly on Ian Fleming and his James Bond novels, as well as the appeal of a stand-alone British agent defending the realm. We also consider alcohol and its connection to (the performance of) British identity in a variety of contexts including colonial India and the James Bond franchise. Finally, Goodman muses about the potential for craft beer to be featured in future Bond films.
In this episode, I speak with Dr. Tyler Johnson, about the recent publication of our article “Properties of a Lady: Public Perceptions of Women in the James Bond Franchise.” We discuss the design for the project as well as the importance of doing participant research in order to better understand what people truly want to see in the figure of the Bond Girl. We consider our findings such as the preference for skill-based qualities (such as proficiency as a spy and ability to fight opponents) over traditional gender roles (such as being a damsel in distress and maternity) as well as the relative importance of body/aesthetics for women in the series. We also challenge the stereotypes associated with Bond fandom as our findings contradict some of the assumptions that are frequently made. The article can be accessed here: https://www.participations.org/Volume%2017/Issue%202/5.pdf
In this episode, I explore additional dimensions of James Bond's haptic (or touch-based) encounters. I discuss the depiction of Bond's body as technical, memorializing, and calculating focusing on such elements as cars, iconography, and omni-competency. Beyond corporeality (or the physical form), I consider how touch is conveyed metaphorically in the series through the expectation that Bond will "keep in touch" during his mission as well as the depiction of Bond as being "out of touch" in certain films/eras. For a detailed discussion, see my book with Klaus Dodds on the Geographies, Genders, and Geopolitics of James Bond (Palgrave MacMillan 2017): https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781349848812
In this episode, I discuss the "haptic geographies" of James Bond's body, drawing upon research I have published with Dr. Klaus Dodds. Haptics refers touch which is a primary form non-verbal communication. James Bond is a body-focused spy who's physique and touch communicate potent messages about identity and power. I consider how Bond's body is defined as fit and sensual across the franchise, and the sentiments being relayed about masculinity, ability, (hetero)sexuality, and heroism through these depictions. For a more detailed discussion, see our book Geographies, Genders, and Geopolitics of James Bond (Palgrave MacMillan 2017): https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781349848812
In this episode, I interview Dr. Monica Germana about her book Bond Girls: Body, Fashion, and Gender (Bloomsbury 2020). We discuss a range of topics including (i) our experiences as women and feminists working in the field of James Bond studies, (ii) the viability of the term "Bond Girl", (iii) the creative contributions of women as costume designers, (iv) the visibility and invisibility of James Bond, (v) the depiction of racial and ethnic minority women, and (vi) the importance of trousers in the 1960s. This episode offers a thoughtful and engaging conversation by women about women in the world of Bond.
In this episode, I discuss the return of women villains in Bond films of the 1990s and 2000s. The Pierce Brosnan era features the highest concentration with antagonists who challenge the phallic masculinity of Bond. Their return coincides with the rise of postfeminism which had a strong influence on the depiction of women in American and British films of the time. By comparison, there has only been one woman villain in the Daniel Craig era - Valenka featured in Casino Royale (2006). While she is one of Bond's most threatening adversaries, her depiction and narrative treatment are both limited and limiting. She lacks the autonomy, competency, and agency that defined women villains like Fiona Volpe and Rosa Klebb in the 1960s.
In this episode, I discuss the depiction of villainous women - or lack thereof - in James Bond films from the 1970s and 1980s as the franchise registers/reflects the backlash to feminist gains at the time. May Day, featured in A View To A Kill (1985) is the only formidable woman to challenge Bond across the Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton eras. I discuss the influence of third wave feminism on the casting of Grace Jones and the characterization of May Day as well as the problematic use of racial stereotyping in the film.
In this episode, I discuss the depiction of villainous women in the 1960s Bond films. I examine how these films register the political impact of second wave feminism through the contrasting of "good" (i.e. the Bond Girl) and "bad" (i.e. villainous women) figures. I also explore the influence of stereotypes associated with red-haired women on the design of antagonists like Rosa Klebb (1963), Fiona Volpe (1965), Helga Brandt (1967) and Irma Bunt (1969).
In this episode, I explore how the Bond Girl archetype is reworked in the Daniel Craig era. On the one hand, the figure is deconstructed across the orphan origin trilogy - Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall - resulting in the depiction of different and outlier women in the series. On the other hand, the figure is reconstituted and reintroduced in Spectre through the character of Dr. Madeleline Swann who serves as a composite of previous Bond Girls featured in the series.