Global Perspectives on Tarzan: From King of the Jungle to International Icon

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Annette Wannamaker, Michelle Ann Abate
Routledge, Aug 21, 2012 - Social Science - 226 pages
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This collection seeks to understand the long-lasting and global appeal of Tarzan: Why is a story about a feral boy, who is raised by apes in the African jungle, so compelling and so adaptable to different cultural contexts and audiences? How is it that the same narrative serves as the basis for both children’s cartoons and lavish musical productions or as a vehicle for both nationalistic discourse and for light romantic fantasy? Considering a history of criticism that highlights the imperialistic, sexist, racist underpinnings of the original Tarzan narrative, why would this character and story appeal to so many readers and viewers around the world? The essays in this volume, written by scholars living and working in Australia, Canada, Israel, The Netherlands, Germany, France and the United States explore these questions using various critical lenses. Chapters include discussions of Tarzan novels, comics, television shows, toys, films, and performances produced or distributed in the U.S., Canada, Israel, Palestine, Britain, India, The Netherlands, Germany and France and consider such topics as imperialism, national identities, language acquisition, adaptation, gender constructions, Tarzan’s influence on child readers and Tarzan’s continued and broad influence on cultures around the world. What emerges, when these pieces are placed into dialogue with one another, is an immensely complex picture of an enduring, multi-faceted global pop culture icon.


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Think Locally Swing Globally The Adventures of Tarzan from American ApeMan to International Icon
PART I Tarzan as US Cultural Export
PART II Global Contexts
PART III Global Issues

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About the author (2012)

Annette Wannamaker is an associate professor at Eastern Michigan University. She is North American Editor of Children’s Literature in Education, author of Boys in Children’s Literature and Popular Culture: Masculinity, Abjection, and the Fictional Child (2008), and editor of Mediated Boyhoods: Boys, Teens and Young Men in Popular Culture and Media (2010).

Michelle Ann Abate is an associate professor of English at Hollins University. Michelle is the author of the books Raising Your Kids Right: Children’s Literature and American Political Conservatism (2010) and Tomboys: A Literary and Cultural History (2008). Also, with Kenneth B. Kidd, she co-edited the collection Over the Rainbow: Queer Children’s and Young Adult Literature (2011).

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