New book publication by Asst/P Gwynne Joel: Ageing, Popular Culture and Contemporary Feminism

New book publication by Asst/P Gwynne Joel: Ageing, Popular Culture and Contemporary Feminism

Date
Tuesday, 06 January 2015

New book publication by Asst/P Gwynne Joel: Ageing, Popular Culture and Contemporary Feminism

The past decade has seen an increase in popular cultural representations of ageing, in response to the realities of an ageing Western population and an acknowledgement of the economic significance of consumption by seniors. Yet, while contemporary film often depicts late middle to old age as a time of renewal and acceptance, most popular depictions of ageing focus on images of loss, decline and the fear of physically ageing ‘naturally’. Ageing in popular culture is a battlefield, with increasing numbers of euphemisms used to disguise the fact of age.

Feminist discourse has kept forever young, even though some of its most eminent proponents are ageing and dying. In the field of popular cultural studies the emphasis on the discourse of postfeminism and the ‘girling’ of culture  has foregrounded the concerns of young women at the expense of a focus on older women, or what ‘gender’ means for middle-aged to older people generally. This collection demonstrates how popular culture constructs ageing as a perilous experience not only for women but also for men, while also underscoring the possibilities (and problems) of positive representations of ageing in the wider culture and in feminist criticism.

Imelda Whelehan is Professor of English and Gender Studies and Pro Vice Chancellor (Research Training) at the University of Tasmania, Australia. Her research focuses on feminist thought, popular fiction and film, and adaptation studies. Her recent books include Screen Adaptation (with D. Cartmell, 2010), The Cambridge Companion to Literature on Screen(ed. with D. Cartmell, 2007) and The Feminist Bestseller (2005). She is also Co-Editor of the journal Adaptation and Associate Editor of Contemporary Women’s Writing (OUP). She is currently writing on bras and post-war Hollywood.

Joel Gwynne  is Assistant  Professor of English at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is the author/co-editor of several books on contemporary literature and visual culture, including Sexuality and Contemporary Literature (2012), Erotic Memoirs and Postfeminism: The Politics of Pleasure (2013) and Postfeminism and Contemporary Hollywood Cinema (2013). His essays have appeared in journals such as Journal of Gender Studies, Women’s Studies International Forum, Journal of Contemporary Asia and Feminist Theory.