Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: doi:10.22028/D291-32032
Title: Gender and sexuality in paranormal romance : the postfeminist agenda of contemporary vampire narratives
Author(s): Gerhards, Lea
Language: English
Year of Publication: 2020
SWD key words: Vampir
Gothic novel
Repräsentation <Soziologie>
Feministische Filmtheorie
True Blood
Breaking Dawn
New Moon
The Vampire Diaries
Twilight (Film)
Twilight saga series
Free key words: Postfeminismus
cultural politics
DDC notations: 420 English
791 Public performances, film, radio, television
800 Literature, rhetoric and criticism
810 American literature in English
970 History of North America
Publikation type: Dissertation
Abstract: Since the mid-2000s, American popular culture has fallen under the reign of the vampire, and the bloodsucker is only slowly releasing its grip. In particular, recent years have seen the expansion of a massive vampire romance industry. By tracing the connections between three recent vampire romance series possessing tremendous discursive and ideological power, the “Twilight” film series (2008-2012) as well as the TV series “The Vampire Diaries” (2009-2017) and “True Blood” (2008-2014), this dissertation sets out to determine the cultural politics of these extraordinarily popular texts. In this research, contemporary vampire romance is understood and examined as a locus for the articulation of postfeminist ideologies, and a host to current discourses about gender, sexuality, subjectivity, agency and the body. Discussing a range of conflicting meanings contained in the narratives, this dissertation critically looks at the hybrid paranormal romance genre’s engagement with postfeminist issues, such as everyday sexism and violence against women, power relations in heterosexual relationships, sexual autonomy and pleasure, (self-)empowerment, and (self-)surveillance. As this research shows, the liminal figure of the vampire is ideally suited to incorporate postfeminism’s contradictions, working as a projection surface for postfeminist discourses surrounding gender, sexuality, subjectivation, self-discipline and the management of the body. Providing a discursive and ideological textual analysis of contemporary vampire romance, this study asks: Why are these genre texts so popular right now, what specific desires, issues and fears are addressed and negotiated by them, and what kinds of pleasures do they offer?
Link to this record: urn:nbn:de:bsz:291--ds-320320
Advisor: Fellner, Astrid M.
Date of oral examination: 7-Nov-2018
Date of registration: 6-Oct-2020
Faculty: P - Philosophische Fakultät
Department: P - Anglistik, Amerikanistik und Anglophone Kulturen
Professorship: P - Prof. Dr. Astrid M. Fellner
Collections:SciDok - Der Wissenschaftsserver der Universität des Saarlandes

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