Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgements

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pp. ix-x

Killing Women started with Annette's recognition that popular representations of women who killed related to representations of women's violent deaths. While it is a hard truth that there is never an untimely moment to think and write about gender and violence, this collection comes at a moment in history when women suicide bombers appear on the front...

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Introduction

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pp. xi-xxii

...On Tuesday, 5 October, the CBC presented the following headline for its Web story: "Canada Accused of Ignoring Violence against Aboriginal Women." The opening line of the story reads: "Canadian officials and police are failing to protect aboriginal women from violent attacks and ignoring the acts when they occur, according to a report from...

SECTION 1: HISTORY, MEMORY, AND MEDIATIONS OF MURDER

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1. Mapping Scripts and Narratives of Women Who Kill Their Husbands in Canada, 1866-1954: Inscribing the Everyday

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pp. 3-20

Fallen women. Unruly women. Deviant women.Women who kill. They are dark creatures, dark characters who disturb and fascinate. Although many contemporary films and prime-time television shows have been devoted to crime, this interest in the representation of crime for public edification is not a new phenomenon. The fascination...

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2. Neither Forgotten nor Fully Remembered: Tracing an Ambivalent Public Memory on the Tenth Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre

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pp. 21-45

In the early evening of 6 December 1989 a twenty-five-year-old white man by the name of Marc L├ępine entered l'Ecole polytechnique (the School of Engineering) at the University of Montreal in Quebec, Canada. Armed with a semiautomatic rifle, he walked into a fourth-year mechanical engineering class of sixty (Rathjen and Monpetit 1999b, 10), ordered the male...

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3. Missing: On the Politics of Re/Presentation

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pp. 47-66

Since 1993 the people of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, have lost more than 300 women to murder. The details of the case are appalling but, sadly, not unique: Canadians, for example, need only think of the as-yet unsolved case of sixty-three women who have gone missing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside over the last twenty years2...

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4. Killing the Killers: Women on Death Row in the United States

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pp. 67-82

It's 8:00 pm and unseasonably warm for December. The night is calm. The stars are bright. The moon is almost full. Except for two groups of people and a wrought iron sign like one you might see over a cemetery gate, there is little to indicate we have just arrived at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. We left Oklahoma City three hours...

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5. "Dealing with the Devil": Karla Homolka and the Absence of Feminist Criticism

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pp. 83-104

In 2002, shortly before Karla Homolka's proposed release from prison, an Internet site called "Karla Homolka Death Pool: When the Game Is Over, We All Win" was set up solely for the purpose of taking its visitors' bets on the exact date that someone would murder Homolka should her parole be granted.2 One of the rules of the site stated that players were not allowed to influence the odds by killing her themselves...

SECTION 2: TECHNIQUES AND TECHNOLOGIES OF REPRESENTING VIOLENCE

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6. Pearls and Gore: The Spectacle of Woman in Life and Death

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pp. 107-121

One of the main purposes of this collection is to explore the apparent difference between women who kill and women who are killed. It is the contention of the editors that the distinction between these two aspects of violence is less clear than commonly perceived and is carefully mediated through socialized representational practices. In this chapter...

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7. "I Am Awake in the Place Where Women Die": Violent Death in the Art of Abigail Lane and Jenny Holzer

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pp. 123-137

In a commentary written for the art exhibit Scene of the Crime, Ralph Rugoff highlights what he sees in contemporary art as a fascination with violence and crime and, in particular,with the residues and traces that define the forensic scene of violent crime. Blood stains, bodies, and the debris of violence occupy a significant place in this often shocking and grotesque trend in postmodern art; but equally...

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8. Women and Murder in the Televirtuality Film

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pp. 139-154

Communication media dominate contemporary American life and have increasingly been recognized as constituting the most central issue in Western thought and culture. The power and influence of this media world have also been reflected in cinema, including an entire cycle of Hollywood products released between 1995...

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9. "I'm in There! I'm One of the Women in That Picture"

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pp. 155-176

I'll bet you've pictures of yourself, maybe images of yourself from throughout your life, photos lying loose in a box or pressed behind plastic sheets in spiral-bound albums. What if you received an invitation to donate one of your photos to an exhibition in honour of women who'd been murdered in your area, an invitation to stand in and be pictured with one of their names? Imagine rifling through your...

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10. Killing Time: The Violent Imaginary of Feminist Media

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pp. 177-194

From the first feminist murder fantasy in cinema, Germaine Dulac's The Smiling Madame Beudet (1923), to the ugly realism of Coralie Trinh Thi and Virginie Despentes's nihilist millennium-closer, Baise-Moi (1999),1 cinema by women, not surprisingly, imagines its violence as vengeance, as a just-cause response to the exploitation of the body, the burden of sexual difference, and/or psychic violations of...

SECTION 3: NATIONAL TROUBLE: GENDERED VIOLENCE

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11. Dario Argento's The Bird with the Crystal Plumage: Caging Women's Rage

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pp. 197-217

It is no secret that Italian cinema is heavily masculine. If we look at middle-to highbrow Italian film (the work best recognized internationally) we find that, until recently, there have been only two women directors of note, Lina Wertmuller and Liliana Cavani, from the immediate postwar period up until the late 1980s.1 Moreover...

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12. How Positively Levitating! Chinese Heroines of Kung Fu and Wuxia Pian

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pp. 219-235

The martial arts film continues a long Chinese literary tradition of fighting women who leap and somersault in perfect, trained weightlessness; unbound from the hearth and the altar, they venture forth to protect, avenge, challenge, and offend. This chapter considers some martial arts heroines of the kungfu film and wuxia pian,1 whose aerialism...

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13. The Madwomen in Our Movies: Female Psycho-Killers in American Horror Cinema

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pp. 237-250

In terms of sheer quantity, it is clear that male psycho-killers have dominated the tradition of what has come to be known as "realist" horror cinema in the United States-a tradition popularized by Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), in which the impossible, supernatural monsters of earlier horror films were replaced by antagonists of an apparently (or at least loosely) human ontology. 2 And with rare exception, male sociopaths...

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14. Reverence, Rape-and then Revenge: Popular Hindi Cinema's "Women's Film"

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pp. 251-272

The academic interest in popular Hindi cinema's dramatic reinscription of women as avenging daredevils, although belated, is welcome. The increasing popularity of these films in the 1980s and 1990s is accompanied by some turmoil over how to read this move (Ghosh 1996; Gopal 1997; Gopalan 1997).2 Persisting complaints about static two-dimensional portrayals of women as victims or vamps, madonnas or...

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15. In the Name of the Nation: Images of Palestinian and Israeli Women Fighters

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pp. 273-292

Since the beginning of 2002 the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has seen a new flavour of resistance, whereby Palestinian women have joined the ranks of suicide bombers. Previously, upon revealing that I am from Israel, the North American response was often pity and compassion for having come from a war zone.My conversant would usually express sympathy and worry for the sake of my family in Jerusalem...

Sources

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pp. 293-315

Biographical Notes

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pp. 317-320

Index

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pp. 321-328