Geek Heroines
An Encyclopedia of Female Heroes in Popular Culture
by Karen M. Walsh
October 2019, 347pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6640-1
$97, £72, 81€, A139
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6641-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Wonder Woman (2017), which featured a female superhero, smashed box office records.

Geek Heroines not only tells the stories of fictional and real women, but also explores how they represent changes in societal views of women, including women of color and the LGBTQ community.

Geek culture stems from science and technology and so is frequently associated with science fiction. In the beginnings of science fiction, the genre was tied to “magic” and dystopic outcomes; however, as technology turned “geek” into “chic,” geek culture extended to include comics, video games, board games, movie, books, and television. Geek culture now revolves around fictional characters about whom people are passionate.

Geek Heroines seeks to encourage women and young girls in pursuing their passions by providing them with female role models in the form of diverse heroines within geek culture. Carefully curated to incorporate LGBTQ+ identities as well as racial diversity, the book defines geek culture, explains geek culture’s sometimes problematic nature, and provides detailed fiction and nonfiction biographies that highlight women in this area. Entries include writers and directors as well as characters from comic books, science fiction, speculative fiction, television, movies, and video games.


  • Provides readers with an intersectional approach to geek culture that incorporates a variety of female identities
  • Details the historical problems of women's representation in geek culture including hypersexualization, bi-erasure, and transgender issues
  • Focuses on how characters and real-life women empower female identifications
  • Analyzes the geek community's history of sexism focusing on how social norms lead to one-dimensional characterizations
Karen M. Walsh earned her Doctor of Laws at the UConn School of Law. Her chapter “Militarization of the Domestic Space: Positioning Buffy as a Post-Feminist Heroine through the Lens of Choice Feminism” was published in At Home in the Whedonverse in 2017. She is currently working on an essay for a collection discussing transmediated narratives in the Whedonverse as well as books on science fiction and Hamilton: An American Musical. She is a core contributor at GeekMom.
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