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Feminism & Popular Culture: Investigating the Postfeminist Mystiqueby Rebecca Munford
Synopses & Reviews
When the term andldquo;postfeminismandrdquo; entered the media lexicon in the 1990s, it was often accompanied by breathless headlines about the andldquo;death of feminism.andrdquo; Those reports of feminismandrsquo;s death may have been greatly exaggerated, and yet contemporary popular culture often conjures up a world in which feminism had never even been born, a fictional universe filled with suburban Stepford wives, maniacal career women, alluring amnesiacs, and other specimens of retro femininity.
In Feminism and Popular Culture, Rebecca Munford and Melanie Waters consider why the twenty-first century media landscape is so haunted by the ghosts of these traditional figures that feminism otherwise laid to rest. Why, over fifty years since Betty Friedanandrsquo;s critique, does the feminine mystique exert such a strong spectral presence, and how has it been reimagined to speak to the concerns of a postfeminist audience?
To answer these questions, Munford and Waters draw from a rich array of examples from contemporary film, fiction, music, and television, from the shadowy cityscapes of Homeland to the haunted houses of American Horror Story. Alongside this comprehensive analysis of todayandrsquo;s popular culture, they offer a vivid portrait of feminismandrsquo;s social and intellectual history, as well as an innovative application of Jacques Derridaandrsquo;s theories of andldquo;hauntology.andrdquo; Feminism and Popular Culture thus not only considers how contemporary media is being visited by the ghosts of feminismandrsquo;s past, it raises vital questions about what this means for feminismandrsquo;s future.
Over the past fifty years, feminism has revolutionized the lives of American women. Yet much of our popular culture seems to be set in an alternate universe filled with retro images of femininity: suburban Stepford wives, maniacal career women, and alluring amnesiacs. Feminism and Popular Culture investigates why contemporary media is being haunted by the ghosts of feminismandrsquo;s pastandmdash;and considers what this means for its future.
About the Author
and#160;REBECCA MUNFORD is a senior lecturer in English Literature at Cardiff University. She is the author of Decadent Daughters and Monstrous Mothers: Angela Carter and the European Gothic (2013), editor of Revisiting Angela Carter: Texts, Contexts, Intertexts (2006), and co-editor of Third Wave Feminism: A Critical Explorationand#160;(2007).
MELANIE WATERS is a senior lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Northumbria University. She is the editor of Women on Screen: Feminism and Femininity in Visual Culture (2011) and co-editor of Poetry and Autobiography (2011).
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