Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.679031
Title: A man's end of the world? : gender in post-9/11 American apocalyptic television
Author: Bennett, Eve
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 1076
Awarding Body: De Montfort University
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 2015
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Abstract:
This thesis is an investigation of the representation of gender in the many American fiction television programmes dealing with the theme of apocalypse that debuted in the post-9/11 period, specifically between September 2002 and August 2012. It is the first study of this cycle of programmes, as well as the first overview of gender in twenty-first-century American telefantasy. The thesis takes a broadly cultural studies approach, mainly employing close textual analysis as its methodology. The aim of the thesis is, firstly, to point out some of the recurring narrative patterns and motifs relating to gender in the 25 programmes which fall within its remit and, secondly, to consider to what extent it is possible to draw links between the representation of gender in these programmes and contemporary events, especially 9/11 and the ‘war on terror.’ In particular, it aims to discern whether the series in question show the same reversion to traditional notions of masculinity and femininity that critics such as Susan Faludi (2007) have identified in American factual media of the same period. Following the introduction and literature review, Chapter One examines two archetypes of masculinity that were widely invoked by the American media in the aftermath of 9/11, the cowboy and the superhero, as they are respectively portrayed in The Walking Dead (2010- ) and Heroes (2006-2010). Chapter Two explores the representation of father-son relationships in a number of apocalyptic programmes and suggests that they tend to follow a narrative pattern which I refer to as the ‘Prince Hal narrative.’ Chapter Three examines the typical perpetrators of the apocalypses in these shows, patriarchal conspiracies, and the gendered dynamics between the conspirators, their victims and the heroes that attempt to stop them. It focuses on Jericho (2006-2008) and Dollhouse (2009-2010). Chapter Four looks at the conspiracies’ primary victims: young women who have been turned, against their will, into human ‘weapons.’ Finally, the conclusion notes the continuing popularity of apocalypse as a theme on American television, reiterates the previous chapters’ conclusions and draws some more general ones before indicating possible areas for further study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.679031  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Television ; gender ; apocalypse ; science fiction ; telefantasy ; 9/11
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