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License to thrill: Bond girls, costumes, and representation

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The connection between Hollywood costume design and the films of the 007/James Bond franchise, especially in regards to the changing perspective of the “Bond Girl”, is an intricate relationship that has previously been little researched. In the most recent Bond

The connection between Hollywood costume design and the films of the 007/James Bond franchise, especially in regards to the changing perspective of the “Bond Girl”, is an intricate relationship that has previously been little researched. In the most recent Bond films, in particular, the female characters have become more powerful than the early characters and their roles within the narratives have changed with their characters taking on stronger and more integral roles. This thesis seeks to examine the films of the 007/James Bond franchise and how the rhetoric of the franchise’s costume design affects the representation of femininity and power in regards to the Bond Girls. After an overview of Bond history and costume theory, two films are analyzed as case studies: Dr. No (1962) which marks the beginning of the film franchise and Casino Royale (2006), which marks the more recent turn the films have taken. This thesis examines how the representations of Bond Girls and the use of costume design for their characters have changed over the course of the franchise from the days of Sean Connery to the recent reboot of the franchise with Daniel Craig as 007 James Bond. In addition to an examination of Bond Girl costume design, this thesis considers the role and influence of the costume designers. A designer’s vision of a character is derived from both the writing and the physical features of the actresses before them. Here this thesis considers how the rhetorical choices made by designers have contributed to an understanding of the relationship between femininity and power. Finally it shows how the costumes effect the power of the female characters and how the Bond Girls of today (Casino Royale) compare and/or contrast to Bond Girls of the past (Dr. No). This thesis combines the areas of feminist film theory and costume theory to provide an original rhetorical analysis of the Bond series in relation to costume design and examines the rhetorical statements made by the costume designers in their designs for the characters and how those statements influence the representations of the characters.

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2013

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Medieval rhetoric and civic identity

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Rhetoric has traditionally enjoyed a close connection with ideals of citizenship. Yet, the rhetorical traditions of the medieval period have generally been described as divorced from civic life, concerned instead with theories of composition in specific genres (such as letters

Rhetoric has traditionally enjoyed a close connection with ideals of citizenship. Yet, the rhetorical traditions of the medieval period have generally been described as divorced from civic life, concerned instead with theories of composition in specific genres (such as letters and sermons) and with poetics. This view is the product of historiographical approaches that equate rhetoric either theories and practices of speech and writing intended for state-sponsored civic forums, or alternatively with rules governing future speech or literary production. Consequently, the prevailing view of the medieval period in rhetorical studies is a simplified one that has not evolved with changing practices of analysis in the field of rhetorical studies. This dissertation contends that by employing alternative modes of historiography, historians of rhetoric gain a more accurate conception of medieval rhetoric’s civic roles, revealing the discipline’s role in shaping the individual and their relationship to civic and political institutions.

Organized around an introduction, a broad discussion of later medieval rhetoric and political thought (950-1390), four case studies, and a conclusion, this dissertation begins by identifying historiographical trends that have associated medieval rhetoric with technical treatises, minimizing connections to civic life. Challenging these assessments through a close reading of texts of rhetorical theory, political philosophy, and technical treatises, it contends that medieval rhetoric influenced activities such as grammatical education, didactic art, and political theory to inform practices of citizenship. Focusing specifically on representations of labor, this dissertation show that these venues idealized the political participation of manual laborers within an otherwise discursive theory of civic life that drew from both Aristotelian and Ciceronian sources.

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2017