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Postfeminist WhitenessProblematising Melancholic Burden in Contemporary Hollywood$
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Kendra Marston

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474430296

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474430296.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Postfeminist Whiteness

Kendra Marston

Edinburgh University Press

The introductory section opens with a discussion of Lars von Trier’s 2011 film Melancholia, examining this text’s significance as part of a broader cultural moment in which the depressive episodes of white women are used to provide commentary on the moral decay of the Western world. It situates the book’s analysis within the fields of postfeminist media studies and critical race and whiteness studies. The Hollywood manifestation of postfeminist melancholia is attributed to several factors, including a resurgence of interest in feminist politics, conflicts in US race relations, and the shifting image of the US internationally. It then argues for the examination of this cinematic figure’s relationship to a politics of white hegemony, briefly exploring Hollywood’s history of utilising stories involving ethnic appropriation as a means of assuaging national anxieties associated with earlier socio-political movements, such as the civil rights movement and sexual revolution.

Keywords:   Postfeminist popular culture, Celebrity feminism, Post-race, Hollywood and race, Hysteria

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