Motherhood Misconceived: Representing the Maternal in U.S. Films
Heather Addison, Mary Kate Goodwin-Kelly, Elaine Roth
State University of New York Press, Oct 9, 2009 - Performing Arts - 265 pages
As celebrities sporting “baby bumps,” politicians, Olympic athletes, and talk show guests, mothers are ubiquitous throughout U.S. media and popular culture. Like lightning rods, these high-profile mothers attract accolades and judgments associated with ideals of female sexuality, gender roles, and constructions of contemporary families. Motherhood Misconceived explores this widespread cultural fascination with motherhood through analyses of mothers in contemporary U.S. film, including both mainstream and independent cinematic representations. The contributors draw on a variety of critical approaches to consider the spectacle of pregnancy; mother-daughter relationships; mothers as predators, narcissists, and absent victims; and the ways in which cultural anxieties are displaced and projected onto marginalized mothers in films such as Fargo; Transamerica; Gas, Food, Lodging; Ordinary People; and Scream. Ideal for women’s studies or film studies classes, Motherhood Misconceived will help students contextualize current debates about motherhood as they play out in popular and independent film.
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