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Tracing representations of re-imagined Victorian families in literature, film and television, and social discourse, this collection, the second volume in Rodopi's Neo-Victorian Series, analyses the historical trajectory of persistent but increasingly contested cultural myths that coalesce around the heterosexual couple and nuclear family as the supposed `normative' foundation of communities and nations, past and present. It sheds new light on the significance of families as a source of fluctuating cultural capital, deployed in diverse arenas from political debates, social policy and identity politics to equal rights activism, and analyses how residual as well as emergent ideologies of family are mediated and critiqued by contemporary arts and popular culture. This volume will be of interest to researchers and students of neo-Victorian studies, as well as scholars in contemporary literature and film studies, cultural studies and the history of the family. Situating the nineteenth-century family both as a site of debilitating trauma and the means of ethical resistance against multivalent forms of oppression, neo-Victorian texts display a fascinating proliferation of alternative family models, albeit overshadowed by the apparent recalcitrance of familial ideologies to the same historical changes neo-Victorianism reflects and seeks to promote within the cultural imaginary.
Number of pages: 412
Weight: 1 g
Dimensions: 240 x 160 x 24 mm
"This volume provides highly relevant information about a wide range of theories and Neo-Victorian literary and visual texts. The essays have a critical potential in their approach to gender, sexual and social politics and tropes of trauma both in Victorian and contemporary representations, which make the volume fascinating and worth reading." - Maria Isable Romero Ruiz, University of Malaga, in: Miscelanea: a Journal of English and American Studies 46 (2012), pp.145-149 "The essays in Neo-Victorian Families: Gender, Sexual and Cultural Politics provide a wide-ranging account of the centrality of discourses of the familial to neo-Victorianism in a variety of genres and forms. From the re-presentation of narratives of slum communities and childhoods in popular contemporary US drama like The Wire through to reconstructions of national identity as a kinship beyond geographical and historical constraints, individual chapters set attentiveness to analytical detail alongside conceptual frameworks that illuminate new aspects of the genre and its poetics. As the editors make clear in their theoretically informed and textually astute introduction, neo-Victorianism increasingly offers ways of recasting the political, philosophical and epistemological concerns of the present via an intellectually challenging engagement with the contentious histories, lived and imagined, of the nineteenth century." - Mark Llewellyn, University of Strathclyde, Scotland, UK
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