Articles

Dr. Lisa Funnell is an interdisciplinary and intersectional researcher with a passion for analyzing representation (gender, race, sexuality, nationality, ability) and geopolitics in popular film. Her scholarship on James Bond has helped to shape a gender studies branch of scholarship within the field of James Bond Studies. She enjoys working with other scholars and welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with academics from around the world!

JAMES BOND:

WOMEN OF BOND

Properties of a Lady: Public Perceptions of Women in the James Bond Franchise
By: Lisa Funnell and Tyler Johnson
Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies 17.2 (2020): 95-114.

The role of the ‘Bond Girl’ within the James Bond film franchise has been discussed and debated by scholars, critics, actors, and fans alike. In this research, we examine the findings of an original survey that asked Americans about their perceptions of women in Bond films. A slight majority of participants felt that the representation of women in the franchise had improved over time, while over 60% deemed Bond Girls today to be ‘strong and empowered.’ Respondent gender, sexual orientation, attitudes toward feminism, and fandom help explain who prioritizes skill in a Bond Girl versus who prioritizes looks, as well as how one feels about series tropes such as sex scenes, double entendres for character names, and the use of the phrase ‘Bond Girl’ itself.

  • Keywords: James Bond, Bond Girl, women, gender, public opinion, survey

Nomi/No Me?: Race, Gender, and Power in No Time to Die
By: Lisa Funnell

Flow Journal 26.1 (2019)

This article examines the social media response to casting announcements for No Time To Die (2020) and especially the report that Lashana Lynch’s character, Nomi, will be playing an MI6 agent with the 007 code. It contextualizes the negative reactions in relation to social media backlash against such diversity trends as “gender swapping” and “race swapping” as well as the role of white male privilege and the stereotypical representation of women color in the Bond series.

  • Keywords: James Bond, No Time To Die, Bond 25, Nomi, Lashana Lynch, 007, gender swapping, race swapping, digital swarms, backlash, privilege

Reworking the Bond Girl Concept in the Craig Era Films
By: Lisa Funnell
Journal of Popular Film and Television 20.46 (2018): 11-21

This article explores how the Bond Girl concept is reworked in the Daniel Craig era. First, the archetype is deconstructed across the orphan origin trilogy—Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall—as qualities typically associated with the Bond Girl are distributed across at least two characters per film. Second, the archetype is reconstructed in Spectre and Dr. Madeleine Swann can be read as a composite of previous Bond Girls. While the orphan origin trilogy can be considered revisionist, Spectre is decidedly reversionist as it returns the series and its gender politics to a more traditional Bond mode.

  • Keywords: Bond Girl, Craig Era, deconstruction, revisionist, reversionist, phallocentric order, regressive

For His Eyes Only?: Thoughts on Female Scholarship and Fandom of the Bond Franchise
By: Lisa Funnell
Fan Phenomena: James Bond
Intellect, 2015, 86-95

I have been studying the James Bond franchise for over a decade and the one question I am most frequently asked is, “how can you, as a woman and feminist, not only study James Bond but also like the films?” This paper constitutes my response and forwards my experience as a feminist, scholar, and fan of the series. It explores how female fandom of James Bond operates in a complex space defined by the patriarchal nature of film production and the gendering of consumption practices that work to delimit and delineate pleasure.

  • Keywords: James Bond, feminist, scholar, female fandom, high vs low culture debate, Bond Girl, chick flicks, guilty pleasure

Objects of White Male Desire: (D)Evolving Representations of Asian Women in Bond Films.
By: Lisa Funnell
For His Eyes Only: The Women of James Bond
Wallflower, 2015, 79-87

This paper explores the depiction of Asian women across three key phases of the Bond franchise. It considers the use of Asian stereotypes in Dr. No (1962) and You Only Live Twice (1967), the rise of the Hong Kong action woman in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), and the return of racial stereotyping in Skyfall (2012). This paper challenges the claim that the Bond films have progressed in terms of their representational politics with the regressive representation of Asian femininity in Skyfall.

  • Keywords: Asian women, racial stereotyping, Lotus Blossom, Dragon Lady, action woman, quintessential partner, disempowerment

Negotiating Shifts in Feminism: The ‘Bad’ Girls of James Bond
By: Lisa Funnell
Women on Screen: Feminism and Femininity in Visual Culture
Palgrave, 2011, 199-212

This paper explores how the Bond franchise reflects popular attitudes towards changing feminist sentiments through its characterization and narrative treatment of female villains. It considers the influence of second wave feminism (1960s), feminist backlash (1970s), third wave feminism (1980s) and post-feminism (1990s and early 2000s).

  • Keywords: feminism, female villains, ‘Bad Girl,’ backlash, domestication, libidinal threat, phallocentrism, patriarchy

From English Partner to American Action Hero: The Heroic Identity and Transnational Appeal of the Bond Girl
By Lisa Funnell
Heroes and Heroines: Embodiment, Symbolism, Narratives, and Identity
Midrash, 2008, 61-80

This paper outlines the typology of the Bond Girl across three character phases: English Partner (1962-1969), American Side-Kick (1971-1989), and Action Hero (1995-2002). It explores the depiction of gender, race, and nationality across the archetype.

  • Key Words: Bond Girl, archetype, heroism, domestication, empowerment, sexualization

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HEROIC MASCULINITY

From Casino Royale to Spectre: Daniel Craig’s James Bond
By: Klaus Dodds and Lisa Funnell
Journal of Popular Film and Television 20.46 (2018): 2-10

This introduction highlights the four areas of inquiry addressed by our contributors featured in the special “James Bond and the Daniel Craig themed issue of Journal of Popular Film and Television: agencies, moods, places, and structures. It also acknowledges the place of Daniel Craig era in relation to other serial film franchises like the Jason Bourne and Batman series.

  • Keywords: Daniel Craig, James Bond, Jason Bourne, Batman, Prequel, Origin Stories

The Man with the Midas Touch: The Haptic Geographies of James Bond’s Body
By: Lisa Funnell and Klaus Dodds
Journal of Popular Film and Television 43.3 (2015): 121-135

This article examines the significance of James Bond’s body and haptic encounters in the film franchise across various situations, spaces, and contexts. It focuses on how his body is defined as being fit, sensual, technical, memorializing, and calculating, as well as the ways in which his body changes in accordance with shifting generic and gendered codes in the franchise. We argue that although Bond might be perceived as a ‘blunt instrument’ in his films, he is also a touchy-feely and sensuous secret agent. Without that touch and without that feel, he would be a ‘dysesthetic instrument’ and ultimately less likely to serve Queen and Country with any great distinction.

  • Keywords: James Bond, body, haptic, geography, touch, feel, sensuality, technology, Midas touch

“I Know Where You Keep Your Gun:” Daniel Craig as the Bond-Bond Girl Hybrid in Casino Royale
By: Lisa Funnell
Journal of Popular Culture 44.3 (2011): 455-472

This paper explores how Daniel Craig’s portrayal of James Bond represents a dramatic shift in the serialized character as the franchise moves away from the British lover tradition. Casino Royale presents Bond’s origin story from the moment he attains his 007 licence and introduces a new heroic template informed by Hollywood models of heroic masculinity and the iconography of the Bond Girl conflated through the image of Craig in a swimsuit. As a hybridized character, Craig’s Bond is simultaneously active and passive, masculine and feminine, British and American, Bond and Bond Girl.

  • Keywords: Daniel Craig, James Bond, Casino Royale, Bond-Bond Girl hybrid, masculinity, British lover, Hollywood hard body, origin story

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GEOGRAPHIES AND GEOPOLITICS

Doing Popular Geopolitics and Security: Intersectional and Interdisciplinary Readings of James Bond
By: Klaus Dodds and Lisa Funnell
How to do Popular Culture in International Relations. Routledge, forthcoming 2020

This chapter reflects on our experiences working together on a various projects exploring the popular geopolitics of James Bond. As a political geographer and a gender and film studies scholar respectively, we have had to learn how to work with, connect, and integrate our varied theoretical and methodological approaches that we brought to the study of film and popular geopolitics. This has resulted in the development of a unique, interdisciplinary, and synergetic lens through which popular culture can be analysed.

  • Keywords: James Bond, collaboration, writing, interdisciplinary, popular culture

Going Elemental and Atmospheric: Roger Moore’s and Timothy Dalton’s James Bond and Cold War Geopolitics
By: Klaus Dodds and Lisa Funnell
Media and the Cold War in the 1980s: Between Star Wars and Glasnost
Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, 63-86

This chapter explores the depiction of the Second Cold War (ca. 1974–1987) and especially the increasingly prominent role of the atmosphere, elements, and resources in the Bond franchise. We explore three factors that enable this shift. First, the emergence of blockbuster films and new techniques of production and marketing that encourage spectacle, lavishness, and scale. Second, spectacular set design associated with Ken Adam offers up immersive and impressive environments for Bond to grapple with. Finally, environmental degradation, climate change, and space-based imagery of Earth inform a global consciousness. Bond and his allies, both American and occasionally Soviet, prevent unthinkable (but not unimaginable) global destruction and normalize Anglo-American geopolitical power.

  • Keywords: James Bond, Cold War, Moore Era, Dalton Era, geopolitics, Anglo-American, Soviet, elemental

MI6 Tackles its James Bond Image Problem by Recruiting ‘Everyday’ People
By: Klaus Dodds and Lisa Funnell

The Conversation, 2018

This paper considers the impact of the Bond brand on the ability of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) to attract applicants.

  • Keywords: James Bond, fieldwork, SIS, MI6, popular culture, ‘soft’ skills, diversity, hiring

For Your Eyes Only: James Bond’s Secret China Mission
By: Lisa Funnell and Klaus Dodds

South China Morning Post, 2018

This article considers the depiction of China across the James Bond franchise and the messages conveyed through the about shifting British-Chinese relations.

  • Keywords: James Bond, China, UK, geopolitics, stereotypes, Bond 25, China market

Geopolitics, Genders, and Geographies
By: Lisa Funnell and Klaus Dodds
MI6 Confidential Magazine, 2017, 34-35

This article discusses my book with Klaus Dodds on The Geographies, Genders, and Geopolitics of James Bond.

  • Keywords: James Bond, gender, geopolitics, geographies, elements

“You’re a Kite Dancing in a Hurricane, Mr. Bond”: The Elemental Encounters of James Bond
By: Lisa Funnell and Klaus Dodds
International Journal of James Bond Studies 1.1 (2017): 1-12

This article explores the importance of elemental geographies in the James Bond franchise and how the hero’s encounters with water, air, earth, and fire shape our understanding of him as a character and the missions he completes. By securing the elemental, Bond helps to reinforce the dominant Anglo-American security architecture and restrain the potential of the elemental to overwhelm the life he has striven to secure.

  • Keywords: James Bond, elements, gender, sexuality, Bond Girl, villainy, resources, geopolitics, security

How Brexit and Trump Will Affect James Bond
By: Klaus Dodds and Lisa Funnell
The Conversation, 2016

This article explores how the shifting geopolitical terrain in 2016—with Brexit and the election of Donald Trump—could impact the way in which James Bond, Britain’s premier super spy, is able to move and execute his secret missions in both subtle and not so subtle ways.

  • Keywords: James Bond, Donald Trump, Brexit, geopolitics, Craig Era, Bond 25

The Anglo-American Connection: Examining the Intersection of Class, Nationality, Gender, and Race in James Bond Films
By: Lisa Funnell and Klaus Dodds
The Journal of American Culture 38.4 (2015): 357-374

This article considers the representation and geopolitical significance of Bond’s American allies in order to better understand how Anglo-American geopolitical interests are refracted across the different eras of the franchise. The intersection of nationality with class, gender, and race shapes the reading of American characters and informs the nature of their relationships with Bond.

  • Keywords: James Bond, Anglo-American, special relationship, partnership, Bond Girl, Felix Leiter, intersectionality, gender, race, sexuality, nationality

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ASIAN ACTION HEROES:

TRANSNATIONAL MASCULINITY

Hong Kong’s It/Ip Man: The Chinese Contexts of Donnie Yen’s Transnational Stardom
By: Lisa Funnell
Transnational Stardom: International Celebrity in Film and Popular Culture
Palgrave, 2013, 117-138

This paper examines the transnational appeal of Donnie Yen in the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese film markets. On the one hand, Yen is considered to be last great action star choreographer of Hong Kong cinema helping to revitalize post-1997 Hong Kong cinema. On the other, Yen has emerged in the mainland film market as a figure of Chinese patriotism. Read through a distinctly local lens, Yen’s performance of martial arts in films like Ip Man (2008) have been interpreted as a form of national expression and resistance against foreign/non-Chinese influences.

  • Keywords: Donnie Yen, Woo Ping Yuen, action star choreographer, Hong Kong action, corporeal authenticity, Ip Man, Chinese nationalism, mainland China

The Repatriation of Overseas Chinese Stars in Post-1997 Hong Kong Cinema: Daniel Wu – A Case Study
By: Lisa Funnell
Transnational Cinemas 2.2 (2012): 163-178

This article examines the shifting star persona of the Asian American action star Daniel Wu. Although Wu is an American of Mainland Chinese descent, he was initially marketed as an overseas Chinese actor and return migrant to Hong Kong. Over the course of his career, he became increasingly localized and subsequently integrated into ge-ying-shi (music-film-TV) – the intermedial star system of Hong Kong – through his increased proficiency in Cantonese, award-winning performances in high-profile action films, and transnational promotion of the local (popular) culture of Hong Kong. The changes in Wu’s representation arguably serve as a model for the return migration of overseas Chinese and their incorporation into post-1997 Hong Kong.

  • Keywords: Daniel Wu, overseas Chinese, 1997 handover, Hong Kong action, return migration, repatriation, masculinity

WARRIOR WOMEN

Migrating West…To the East: Transnational Chinese Canadian in Hong Kong Action
By: Lisa Funnell
Transnational Asian Identities in Pan-Pacific Cinemas: The Reel Asian Exchange
Routledge, 2012, 133-146

This chapter explores how return migration after the handover has been reflected in Hong Kong’s post-1997 cultural industry which features multiple representations of transnational Chinese identity. In light of this transmigration, Chinese Canadians have become the largest pool of overseas talent from which the post-1997 film industry has drawn upon. Using the career of Choi as a case study, this paper examines the depiction of transmigrant returnee identity in post-1997 action films and explores how markers of local identity help localize Chinese Canadian performers into the star system of Hong Kong.

  • Keywords: Charlene Choi, 1997 handover, Canada, 1.5 generation, return migration, repatriation, Twins

Fighting for a Hong Kong/Chinese Female Identity: Michelle Yeoh, Body Performance, and Globalized Action Cinema
By: Lisa Funnell
Asian Popular Culture in Transition
Routledge, 2012, 171-185

This chapter explores the development of Michelle Yeoh’s star persona in the global film market from East Asian superstardom in the 1990s centered on “corporeal authenticity” to a maternal hero featured in Hollywood blockbusters in the 2000s. In recent years, Yeoh has come to embody a particular impression of Hong Kong identity that centers on her characterization as a transnational mediator facilitating connections between “the East” and “the West.” Cast in the role of maternal hero, Yeoh appears to subvert the politics of representation in Hollywood which have historically “feminized” and fetishized the Asian female body.

  • Keywords: Michelle Yeoh, warrior woman, corporeal authenticity, stunt work, maternal hero, transnational mediator

Assimilating Hong Kong Style for the Hollywood Action Woman
By: Lisa Funnell
Quarterly Review of Film and Video 28.1 (2011): 66-79

This paper explores how female action heroes emerging in the 2000s were modeled after the warrior women of “girls with guns,” a popular cycle of the Hong Kong gunplay film. Working in Hollywood, Hong Kong choreographers Yuen Woo Ping and Yuen Cheung-Yan helped transcribe and assimilate the body performances of Hong Kong warrior women into Hollywood generic versions. As a form of asiaphilia, Hollywood’s transnational appropriation of Hong Kong action takes place on the surface level through the deterritorialization of images. Although inspired by “girls with guns,” Hollywood action women are distinctly American and relate American/Western ideals of gender, race and heroism.

  • Keywords: Hollywood, action women, girls with guns, Hong Kong, Yuen Brothers, The Matrix, Charlie’s Angels, Kill Bill, cultural appropriation

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