Event Title

TV's Women in Washington: Diplomacy, Femininity, and Power

Start Date

8-11-2017 8:30 AM

End Date

8-11-2017 12:30 PM

Description

Three primetime TV dramas in recent years have grappled with representing women in Washington: CBS’s Madam Secretary, USA’s Political Animals, and ABC’s Scandal. Each of these shows presents a nuanced protagonist who navigates diplomatic and political power in distinctive ways, in constant conversation with her identity as woman, as mother or not, as wife, ex-wife or mistress, as white woman or black woman. Investigating the representational strategies used to present their stories and their positions relative to the White House administrations they serve (both officially and unofficially) provides a lens into the strictures imposed upon and the possibilities available to feminine authority and power in a diplomatic, political sphere. I contend that these differences of representation characterize the cultural codes that define the acceptable parameters for women in politics, and address, much like the pulled-from-the-headlines content of these three dramas addresses current events, the public perception of feminine executors of political authority.

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Nov 8th, 8:30 AM Nov 8th, 12:30 PM

TV's Women in Washington: Diplomacy, Femininity, and Power

Three primetime TV dramas in recent years have grappled with representing women in Washington: CBS’s Madam Secretary, USA’s Political Animals, and ABC’s Scandal. Each of these shows presents a nuanced protagonist who navigates diplomatic and political power in distinctive ways, in constant conversation with her identity as woman, as mother or not, as wife, ex-wife or mistress, as white woman or black woman. Investigating the representational strategies used to present their stories and their positions relative to the White House administrations they serve (both officially and unofficially) provides a lens into the strictures imposed upon and the possibilities available to feminine authority and power in a diplomatic, political sphere. I contend that these differences of representation characterize the cultural codes that define the acceptable parameters for women in politics, and address, much like the pulled-from-the-headlines content of these three dramas addresses current events, the public perception of feminine executors of political authority.