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978-1-4985-2582-4 • Hardback • December 2015 • $108.00 • (£83.00)
978-1-4985-2584-8 • Paperback • July 2017 • $52.99 • (£41.00)
978-1-4985-2583-1 • eBook • December 2015 • $50.00 • (£37.00)
Elizabeth Abele is associate professor of English at SUNY Nassau Community College.
John A. Gronbeck-Tedesco is assistant professor and convener of American Studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey.
Screening Images of American Masculinity in the AgeofPostfeminism
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Liberating American Masculinity
1: Fashioning Flexibility: Racial Neoliberalism and the Vicissitudes of Masculinity
2: “Any closer and you’d be Mom”: The Limits of Post-Feminist Paternity in the Films of Robin Williams
3: Rethinking the Nation and the Body Politic: The Wrestler and the Demise of American Exceptionalism
John A. Gronbeck-Tedesco
4: The Bourne Refusal: Changing the Rules of the Game
Mary T. Hartson
Masculinities for Men and Women
5: Subverting the Master’s Hero: Firefly’s Malcolm Reynolds as a New Kind of Space Cowboy
Laura L. Beadling
6: When Eleven Year-Olds Kick-Ass: Hit-Girl as Role Model or Victim?
7: “I’m listening”: Analyzing the Masculine Example of Frasier Crane
8: Hanging With the Boys: Homosocial Bonding and Bromance Coupling in Nip/Tuck and Boston Legal
Pamela Hill Nettleton
9: Some Assembly Required: Joss Whedon’s Bridging of Masculinities in Marvel Films’ The Avengers
Derek S. McGrath
10: The Agency of Nostalgia in Mad Men
11: “Out Like a Man”: Straddling the Postfeminist Fence in Dexter and Breaking Bad
12: Last Men Standing: Will Smith as the Obsolete Patriarchal Male
The blurring of the line between television and motion pictures is one of the paradigmatic shifts in popular culture in the 21st century. Viewers use numerous devices to access programming and often care little about the origins of the material. This reality serves Screening Images of American Masculinity in the Age of Postfeminism well, as Abele (English, SUNY Nassau Community College) and Gronbeck-Tedesco (American studies, Rampapo College of New Jersey) demonstrate how postfeminism, along with queer studies and masculinity studies, have used popular culture to critique media and society. The 12 essays…in this volume treat Robin Williams and Will Smith, the Bourne films, The Avengers, The Wrestler, and Kick-Ass and the television shows Firefly, Fraiser, Nip/Tuck, Boston Legal, Mad Men, Dexter, Miami Vice, and Breaking Bad. Perhaps due to television’s extended period of character development, the essays on that medium are particularly strong in illustrating the complicated constructs of masculinity in contemporary US culture. The editors provide an adequate discussion of the theoretical messiness of the term “postfeminism.” These essays allow the reader to grasp how 21st-century depictions of masculinity can be both misogynistic and protofeminist, heteronormative and bro-romantic, reactionary and sensitive—often at the same time. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.
— Choice Reviews
All in all, the essays in this volume are thoughtful, interesting, and enjoyable to read. This volume. . . makes a worthwhile contribution to that conversation.
— Canadian Woman Studies