Postfeminist Spectres: What Is Haunting Television Heroines?

Nelly Strehlau

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/ths.2017.003

Abstract


Postfeminism is frequently analyzed and conceptualized as a time or sensibility haunted by the ghost of feminism that it wants to (purports to) relegate to the past. It is also a crucial concept in understanding the ways of portraying and constructing female characters prevalent in the American media. The article considers the hauntings (literal but predominantly fgurative) experienced by selected prominent women protagonists of postfeminist American mid-brow television series of the late 1990s, 2000s and early 2010s, from the ghostly child of Ally McBeal to haunting spaces and times of Sex and the City and Any Day Now, to the multiple familial hauntings of Grey’s Anatomy, to compare the spectres narratives assign to these female protagonists, their signifcations and ways of containing them or exorcizing them within the narrative.

Keywords


postfeminism; television; American television; hauntology; motherhood; women’s authorship

Full Text:

PDF

References


Blanco, M. P. and E. Peeren. (2013a). “Introduction: Conceptualizing Spectralities.” In: M. P. Blanco and E. Peeren, eds. The Spectralities Reader: Ghosts and Haunting in Contemporary Cultural Theory. London: Bloomsbury. 1–27.

Blanco, M.P. and E. Peeren. (2013b). “Spectral Subjectivities: Gender, Sexuality, Race / Introduction.” In: M. P. Blanco and E. Peeren, eds. The Spectralities Reader: Ghosts and Haunting in Contemporary Cultural Theory. London: Bloomsbury. 309–316.

Cobb, S. (2015). Adaptation, Authorship, and Contemporary Women Filmmakers. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Derrida, J. (2010) [1994]. Specters of Marx: The State of Debt, the Work of Mourning and the New International. Trans. P. Kamuf. New York and London: Routledge.

Derrida, J. and B. Stiegler. (2013). “Spectrographies.” In: M. P. Blanco and E. Peeren, eds. The Spectralities Reader: Ghosts and Haunting in Contemporary Cultural Theory. London: Bloomsbury. 37–51.

Gill, R. (2007). “Postfeminist Media Culture: Elements of a Sensibility,” European Journal of Cultural Studies 10 (2): 147–166.

Levy, A. (2005). Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture. New York: Free Press.

Lotz, A. D. (2006). Redesigning Women: Television after the Network Era. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

Martin, B. (2013). Diffcult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad. New York: Penguin Press.

McRobbie, A. (2009). The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Negra, D. and Y. Tasker. (2014). “Introduction: Gender and Recessionary Culture.” In: D. Negra and Y. Tasker, eds. Gendering the Recession. Durham and London: Duke University Press. 1–30.

Nussbaum, E. (2016). The R.N.C. on TV: Ivanka’s Weaponized Graciousness. http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-r-n-c-on-tv-ivankasweaponized-graciousness, 12.05.2017.

Nussbaum, E. (2011). “Sex and the City: Was It Still Okay to Drink Cosmos?” New York Magazine: The Encyclopedia of 9/11. http://nymag.com/news/9-11/10thanniversary/sex-and-the-city/, 05.09.2016.

Russ, Joanna. (1983). How to Suppress Women’s Writing. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Sandberg, Susan. (2013). Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. New York: Knopf.

Sepinwall, A. (2012). The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever. Smashwords.

Sepinwall, A. and M. Z. Seitz. (2016). TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time. New York and Boston: Grand Central Publishing.

Sconce, J. (2013). “From Introduction to Haunted Media.” In: M. P. Blanco and E. Peeren, eds. The Spectralities Reader: Ghosts and Haunting in Contemporary Cultural Theory. London: Bloomsbury. 245–256.

Smith, G. M. (2007). Beautiful TV: The Art and Argument of Ally McBeal. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Strehlau, N. (2016). “Nieidealna Ally—nieświęta Alicia—niepokorna Annalise: ‘lubialność’ a konstrukcja postaci bohaterek wybranych amerykańskich seriali prawniczych.” In: Monika Cichmińska, Anna Krawczyk-Łaskarzewska and Piotr Przytuła, eds. Seriale w kontekście kulturowym. Serialowe sedno. Olsztyn: Instytut Polonistyki i Logopedii: 43–56.

Selected videography

Ally McBeal (1997–2002)

Any Day Now (1998–2002)

Damages (2007–2012)

Desperate Housewives (2004–2012)

Feud (2017)

Fleabag (2016)

Ghost (1990)

Ghostbusters (1984)

Grey’s Anatomy (2005–ongoing)

Pretty Little Liars (2010–2017)

Scandal (2012–ongoing)

Sex and the City (1998–2004)

The Good Wife (2009–2016)


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.





ISSN 2392-1196 (online)

Partnerzy platformy czasopism