Cross-Cultural Delivery: The American Influence on Representations of Birth in Polish Popular Culture

Sept. 1, 2013

[1] Scripting the birth, that is emplotting the story of pregnancy and labor using specific narrative and visual conventions, is a way of coping with the unrepresentability of the birthing body. These coping strategies are not meant to represent the actual experience of the birthing woman but rather to decrease...

I Can Be Whoever I Want to Be: Alias and The Post-Feminist Rhetoric of Choice

March 1, 2013

[1] Writing an enthusiastic mid-series review of the cult action-adventure series Alias (2001-2006), Charles Taylor made an unusual comparison between the show’s heroine, good-girl spy Sydney Bristow (played by Jennifer Garner), and the protagonist of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The earnest, fresh-scrubbed Sydney “suggests what Mary Richards might have...

Technodrama of the Designer Baby in My Sister’s Keeper and Pride

Feb. 2, 2013

[1] Engineering a cure for the heteronormative family has become one of the signature missions of certain forms of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) in the twenty-first century. Processes like artificial insemination and surrogacy are increasingly depicted in popular culture representations as commercial options for women (particularly career women) to fulfill...

Making a Meal of Manhood: Revisiting Rope and the Question of Hitchcock’s Homophobia

Dec. 1, 2012

[1] When D. A. Miller published “Anal Rope,” an essay about Alfred Hitchcock’s film Rope (1948), in 1990, the AIDS crisis was still raging in the United States, no effective treatment for it was available, homophobia was at its height, and George Bush had taken office, extending his predecessor Ronald...

The Only Black Man at the Party: Joni Mitchell Enters the Rock Canon

Nov. 1, 2012

[1] On Halloween of 1976, a week before her thirty-third birthday, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell strutted into a Los Angeles party in dark pancake makeup and a pimp’s suit and passed for a black man. For the next six years, Mitchell appeared intermittently in this character, whom she named Art Nouveau...

Performing Countercultural Masculinity: Mick, Music and Masquerade in Gimme Shelter

June 1, 2012

[1] Years before MTV, baby boomer audiences consumed images of themselves in widely popular rockumentaries that have since become key documents in our understanding of youth and music cultures of the past. In particular, the 1970 film Gimme Shelter, directed by Albert and David Maysles with Charlotte Zwerin, has been...

Feminism, Postfeminism, Liz Lemonism: Comedy and Gender Politics on 30 Rock

May 1, 2012

[1] The title of Tina Fey's humorous 2011 memoir, Bossypants, suggests how closely Fey is identified with her Emmy-award winning NBC sitcom 30 Rock (2006-), where she is the "boss"—the show's creator, star, head writer, and executive producer. Fey's reputation as a feminist—indeed, as Hollywood's Token Feminist, as some journalists...

Policing Black Women’s Sexual Expression: The Cases of Sarah Jones and Renee Cox

Nov. 1, 2011

[1] The history of black feminist theory relates black women’s sexuality as silence or dissemblance (Hammonds, Hine, Spillers). With continued sexual exploitation of black women and girls, increasing attention to male rape in prisons, misogyny in popular culture, and homophobia in black communities, the discourse of silence reigns supreme, but...

British Science Fiction Television in the Discursive Context of Second Wave Feminism

Aug. 1, 2011

[1] The notion of genre has long proved useful as an organising category for scholars approaching popular British television drama. For example, relatively early academic work on the soap opera (Dyer, Ang, Geraghty), the detective or police series (Clarke, Sparks) and the costume drama (Brandt), placed these popular genres firmly...

Feminized Men and Inauthentic Women: Fight Club and the Limits of Anti-Consumerist Critique

May 1, 2011

[1] From the moment of its release, David Fincher’s 1999 film Fight Club has provoked a great deal of theorizing about gender both inside and outside of academia. Such a cultural event, interesting wide swaths of the movie-going public, media pundits, and academics is rare enough, but when the topic...

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