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Religion and gender in England , 1830–85

This interdisciplinary study of competing representations of the Virgin Mary examines how anxieties about religious and gender identities intersected to create public controversies that, whilst ostensibly about theology and liturgy, were also attempts to define the role and nature of women. Drawing on a variety of sources, this book seeks to revise understanding of the Victorian religious landscape, both retrieving Catholics from the cultural margins to which they are usually relegated, and calling for a reassessment of the Protestant attitude to the feminine ideal.

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Susanne Becker

‘monstrous-feminine’ it posits a radical attack on the constraints of ‘Woman’: the feminine ideal in a specific cultural historical context. Like the metaphors of experience, excess and escape, and in relation to them, female subjectivity becomes a strong thematic and formal, as well as more theoretical, challenge to textual and ideological orders. Neo-gothic texts self

in Gothic Forms of Feminine Fictions
Kimberly Lamm

the nylon represents its commodified restraints. Invented by DuPont in 1939, nylon stockings were vigorously marketed to and embraced by women in the pre- and post-war years. Mummified shows that Spero was not an enthused consumer. She swirls the nylon stocking up from the figure’s neck so it covers her face and then stuffs it into her mouth. The pun in the title – mommy/ mummy – suggests deadening perceptions of motherhood are the source of this silencing. Mummified is a portrait of a woman without the language to identify repressive feminine ideals. It reflects

in Addressing the other woman
Carol Engelhardt Herringer

divided them allows the emergence of two competing groups of Christians, which challenges the orthodoxy of a dominant Protestant group in Victorian England. The feminine ideal Competing religious traditions were one of the major sources of the Marian debates, but they were not the only source. Indeed, conflicts between Catholics and Protestants had characterised England since the sixteenth century, yet representations of the Virgin Mary were the subject of lengthy and intense public discussions only in the nineteenth century. The peak years for concern over the Catholic

in Victorians and the Virgin Mary
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Consumer culture’s killer instinct and the imperial imperative
Hilary Ann Radner

that attempts to resolve the irresolvable conflict between new feminine ideals of autonomy and agency, and masculine needs for possession, in particular sexual possession. The macha killerette is a figure that answers both to an identificatory and to a possessive mode of desire, in which to be and to have are equally important. She is a cross-over figure, not only in terms of the desires that she

in The films of Luc Besson
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Encountering Irigaray
Morny Joy

we think and write. I am as opposed as Irigaray to ancient orthodoxies, be they philosophical or religious, that have imposed codes of conduct on women, that have excluded them from universities and ministries, that have denied them access to the echelons of power and prestige. Fortunately, I have had the great fortune to live in an era and a country where I have not been subject to such constraints. Perhaps it is because of this freedom that I have the luxury to choose to differ with Irigaray’s depiction of ‘feminineideals. Or then again, perhaps it is because I

in Divine love
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Carol Engelhardt Herringer

feminine ideals expressed in conduct manuals, medical books, novels, poetry, and paintings, as well as being enforced in parliamentary legislation. These ideals were expressed in a variety of ways, but they revolved around the valorisation of motherhood, moral purity and care for others. Mary and the Holy Family more generally were often presented in idealised, domestic terms as models for Christian households, both Protestant and, especially, Catholic ones.42 However, the Virgin Mary as Catholics imagined her also had the potential to subvert such safe portrayals. She

in Making and remaking saints in nineteenth-century Britain
Margaret Atwood and Lady Oracle
Susanne Becker

female subject on the borderline, like the ‘affilliated’ feminine gothic ‘monsters’ from Frankenstein’s creature to Jane Eyre’s ‘Am I a monster!’ (267). Lady Oracle thus continues the gothic’s feminist critique of the monstrous dimensions of feminine ideals; it ‘repeats’ them, not only effectively to highlight the hidden horrors of the heroine but

in Gothic Forms of Feminine Fictions
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American horror comics as Cold War commentary and critique

Printing Terror places horror comics of the mid-twentieth century in dialogue with the anxieties of their age. It rejects the narrative of horror comics as inherently and necessarily subversive and explores, instead, the ways in which these texts manifest white male fears over America’s changing sociological landscape. It examines two eras: the pre-CCA period of the 1940s and 1950s, and the post-CCA era to 1975. The authors examine each of these periods through the lenses of war, gender, and race, demonstrating that horror comics are centred upon white male victimhood and the monstrosity of the gendered and/or racialised other. It is of interest to scholars of horror, comics studies, and American history. It is suitably accessible to be used in undergraduate classes.

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Nineties’ gothica
Susanne Becker

’ clichés of the (female) body and of female sexuality. Their heroines are female gothic subjects not only because they are motivated by the tension of abjection and desire, but also because their bodies radically challenge the notions both of a feminine ideal and of the monstrous-feminine. Mary Bradford in The Wives of Bath is a hunchback – and her story is structured by

in Gothic Forms of Feminine Fictions