New book publication by Asst/P Gwynne Joel: Ageing, Popular Culture and Contemporary Feminism
Tuesday, 06 January 2015
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
and dying. In the field of popular cultural
studies the emphasis on the discourse of postfeminism and the ‘girling’ of
has foregrounded the concerns of young women at the expense of a focus on older women, or
‘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.
is Professor of English and Gender Studies and Pro Vice Chancellor
at the University
of Tasmania, Australia. Her research focuses on feminist thought, popular fiction and film, and adaptation studies.
Her recent books include
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
English at the National Institute
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.