University of Oklahoma Introduces Feminist ‘James Bond’ Course

James Bond
Greg Williams/Eon Productions/Getty

The University of Oklahoma recently introduced a feminist course that focuses entirely on James Bond.

The University of Oklahoma is set to introduce a course in January that examines the James Bond film franchise through an intersectional feminist lens. According to a report from Campus Reform, the course will specifically examine the “problematic representation” of women in the film series.

The course, which is called “Gender and James Bond,” will be offered as part of the university’s Women and Gender Studies class. The course description dives into the various “social justice” topics that will be covered in the course, such as how everything from the film’s marketing to its video games produce a negative social impact.

Explores the unprecedented longevity and popular cultural viability of the James Bond film franchise. First, the representation of heroism and villainy in the series will be considered, focusing on the performance and intersectionality of gender, race, class, nationality and sexual orientation. Second, the popular culture impact of the Bond franchise will be examined. Development of the “Bondian” film formula focusing on aspects of visual style, music, and the role of technology will be explored. They will also consider the marketing of the Bond films through the opening credit sequence, movie posters, and secondary market products such as James Bond video games, comic books, and cartoons. Third, students will explore the problematic representation of women in the Bond film franchise. They will examine four key characters or character types: the Bad Girl, the Bond Girl, M, and Miss Moneypenny. Finally, students will consider how Casino Royale (2005; functions a prequel and effectively reboots the franchise in the new millennium They will explore how key “Bondian” elements (such as heroic masculinity) have been reframed in the 2000s and consider why producers chose to reframe the film franchise. Ultimately the goal of this course is to explore the ongoing commercial viability of the James Bond franchise and explore the popular cultural impact of its films.

The course is taught by University of Oklahoma Professor Lisa Funnell, who has published a book on the role of women in the James Bond film franchise. This book is one of the required texts for the course.

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