What is it about?

Women who travel to space in science fiction stories often have dead children backstories. This article interrogates this narrative trope to discover what it reveals about ideologies of womanhood and motherhood.

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Why is it important?

As the space sector prepares to send astronauts back to the Moon and onwards to Mars, it is important to critically examine the sexism inherent in the cultural icon of the astronaut figure.


I wrote this article because I was concerned that so many female astronaut figures in fiction were bereaved of children, and I wanted to know what cultural mechanisms might be responsible and what we might learn from them about the ways we imagine women in the future.

Bronwyn Lovell
Flinders University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Cosmic careers and dead children, Science Fiction Film & Television, February 2019, Liverpool University Press,
DOI: 10.3828/sfftv.2019.05.
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