Women's Agency in the Dune Universe book cover

Book Release

My book on women in Frank Herbert’s Dune series has been published! Women’s Agency in the Dune Universe: Tracing Women’s Liberation through Science Fiction is the first major study of the female characters of the Bene Gesserit. Check out the press release and the virtual book launch (recording). If you’re interested in purchasing, please note that I do not make money from book sales on the Springer/Palgrave site or Amazon, due to the nature of the academic publishing industry. I only benefit if you purchase using an affiliate referral link (and accept cookies). Springer/Palgrave offers a much more generous referral link percentage to authors,

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book cover launch

Virtual Book Launch

Please join me in celebrating my soon-to-be-released book by Palgrave titled Women’s Agency in the Dune Universe: Tracing Women’s Liberation through Science Fiction at a virtual book launch on Monday, December 20 at 1pm PST / 4pm EST / 6pm BRT / 9pm GMT / 10pm CET. I will be joined in conversation with co-host Dr. Russ Sloan from Doc Sloan’s Science Fiction Station. Register on the event page or click below! This book is the first major study of female characters in Frank Herbert’s original Dune series and takes a historical approach to exploring the representation of the women of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood. More information will

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Dune Talk podcast video title card

Podcast Interview on the Bene Gesserit of Dune

I’ve been researching and writing about the women of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood of Frank Herbert’s Dune for a while, but haven’t had the opportunity to discuss it verbally much outside of conferences. So I was appreciative of Dune Talk – A Dune News Net Show for the chance to be interviewed on their podcast and talk about my favorite topic and aspects of analysis from my forthcoming book on Dune, based on my PhD research. We also talked about the new Dune film and our thoughts on how it will handle the characterization of key women in its adaptation. I hope people

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Nuns with long white veils walking away

Similar Sisters: Catholic Nuns and the Bene Gesserit

Catholic nuns and the Bene Gesserit in Dune have much in common: from titles and clothing to discipline and influence – these are women with a mission. As sisters clothed in black, they are committed followers of their order who make a difference in their communities. Yet there is also a key difference in that the fictional Bene Gesserit do not answer to a male authority figure. This likely reflects author Frank Herbert’s interest in providing women with more agency than they had in the confines of real-world religions. According to his son Brian Herbert, Frank Herbert was responding in

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Jesuit mission building in Argentina

Female Jesuits: The Catholic Origins of the Bene Gesserit

Jesuit and Gesserit: it’s not a coincidence they sound alike. The real-life Jesuits in Roman Catholicism and the Bene Gesserit characters in Frank Herbert’s novel Dune have many parallels, including their commitment to service, missionary programs, education system, and political influence. This article explores some of the key similarities between the two and shows ways the Jesuit order can be viewed as a model for the fictional Sisterhood. Herbert’s Personal Experience It makes sense that the all-female Bene Gesserit order would have a basis in Catholicism, since Herbert had strong Catholic influences in his life. According to Timothy O’Reilly’s study

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