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Palgrave Macmillan

Heroism and Gender in War Films

ISBN 9781137364531
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Filmic constructions of war heroism have a profound impact on public perceptions of conflicts. In this book, contributors examine the ways motifs of gender and heroism in war films are used to justify specific ideological positions, shape the understanding of the past and current military conflicts, support political agendas and institutions, and influence collective memory. Using a variety of methods and models, they explore how the films create heroes/heroines and propagate them in diverse cinematic forms by establishing male heroism in combat and portraying the heroism of women in non-combat situations but in a context of war.

Karen A. Ritzenhoff is Professor of Communication and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Central Connecticut State University, USA.
Jakub Kazecki is Assistant Professor in the Department of German and Russian Studies at Bates College, USA.

Preface; Anna Froula
Introduction; Karen A. Ritzenhoff and Jakub Kazecki
1. Mary Pickford's WWI Patriotism: A Feminine Approach to Wartime Mythical Americanness; Clémentine Tholas-Disset
2. The Reluctant Hero: Negotiating War Memory with Modern-Day Myths in Passchendaele (2008); Janis L. Goldie
3. A Hero or a Villain, a Terrorist or a Liberator? The Filmic Representations of Gavrilo Princip since the Late 1960s; Tara Karajica
4. No Women! Only Brothers: Propaganda, Studio Politics, and The Fighting 69th (1940); Rochelle Sara Miller
5. The Postwar Anxiety of the American Pin-up: William Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives (1946); Lesley C. Pleasant PART III: IDEOLOGIES, NATIONALITY, AND WAR MEMORY
6. Germany's Heroic Victims: The Cinematic Redemption of the Wehrmacht Soldier on the Eastern Fronter; Brian E. Crim
7. Balls and Bullets: A People's Humor as an Aesthetic Stratagem in Golpe de Estadio (1998); Claudia Aburto Guzmán
8. From Saviors to Rapists: G.I.s, Women, and Children in Korean War Films; Hye Seung Chung
9. "I Don't Know How She Lives with this Kitchen the Way It Is:" Military Heroism, Gender, and Race in Brothers (2004 and 2009); Debra White-Stanley
10. The Gendered Geometry of War in Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker (2008); Janet S. Robinson 11. Rebel Tributes and Tyrannical Regimes: Myth and Spectacle in The Hunger Games (2010); Jessica Wells
12. Mulan (1998) and Hua Mulan (2009): National Myth and Trans-Cultural Intertextuality; Jinhua Li PART V: HISTORICAL REALITY, AUTHENTICITY OF EXPERIENCE, AND CINEMATIC REPRESENTATION
13. 'What Shall the History Books Read?' Quentin Tarantino's Basterdized Histories and Corporeal Inscriptions; Tiel Lundy
14. There's Something About Maya: On Being/Becoming a Heroine and the 'War on Terror'; Charles-Antoine Courcoux

Brian E. Crim, Lynchburg College, USA
Janis L. Goldie, Huntington University, Canada
Tara Karajica, University of Barcelona, Spain
Jinhua Li, University of North Carolina Ashville, USA
Tiel Lundy, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
Rochelle Sara Miller, New York University, USA
Lesley C. Pleasant, University of Evansville, USA
Janet S. Robinson, Philipps University in Marburg, Germany
Clémentine Tholas-Disset, Paris Est Créteil University, France
Jessica Wells, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA
Debra White-Stanley, Keene State College, USA Hye Seung Chung, Colorado State University, USA Charles-Antoine Courcoux, University of Lausanne, Switzerland Anna Froula, East Carolina University, USA


"A timely collection of essays, bringing together a cluster of historical and contemporary chartings of unmapped territory in the interface between cinema and representations of war." - Elisabeth Bronfen, author of Specters of War: Hollywood's Engagment with Military Conflict
"The best scholarship in the humanities is not that which answers questions but that which teaches us to ask ones we never thought of before. Heroism and Gender in War Films accomplishes this task of opening the mind by being not just another book about a well-studied genre of popular culture. The topics and authors are eclectic - from 'Mary Pickford's WWI Patriotism' to 'A People's Humor as an Aesthetic Stratagem in Golpe de Estadio (1998)' to 'Myth and Spectacle in The Hunger Games' - and what they have in common is originality, liveliness, and the choice of fascinating case studies. It's the kind of book that I think undergraduates in a gender studies class, film scholars and yes, the educated layperson wanting to learn new ways to look at movies will enjoy equally. Read Heroism and Gender in War Films and you will discover lost classics of film you may have never heard of and greatly expand your toolkit to study them as well as the latest Hollywood blockbuster." - David D. Perlmutter, Texas Tech University, USA and author of Visions of War and Photojournalism and Foreign Policy
"Assumptions concerning gender roles, behaviors and expectations are so deeply imbued in representations of war that one can view the entire genre of war films as an obstinately gendered form of expression. Yet the gender portrayals and cinematic perspectives of war-related films have shifted in significant ways, across different cultures of filmmaking and within Hollywood dominated popular culture. In fact, looking through the lens of gender calls into question the very parameters of the war film as a genre. This collection of critical essays opens up a wide-ranging discussion of the role of gender in representations of war and heroism, reorienting our consideration of these issues from a variety of cultural and historical perspectives." - Michael Griffin, Department of Media and Cultural Studies, Macalester College, USA and author of "Media Images of War", Media, War, and Conflict
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