Maud Lavin is a visual and critical studies and art history professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and author of Push Comes to Shove: New Images of Aggressive Women (MIT Press).
Ling Yang is an assistant professor of Chinese at Xiamen University and author of Entertaining the Transitional Era: Super Girl Fandom and the Consumption of Popular Culture (China Social Sciences Press).
Jing Jamie Zhao is a PhD student in film and TV studies at the University of Warwick. She has completed a PhD in gender studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
The chapters seek to enrich our understanding of the role of pop culture in the everyday lives of its creators and consumers, primarily in the 20th and 21st centuries. They reveal how popular culture expresses the historical, social, cultural, and political commonalities that have shaped the lives of peoples that make up the Américas, and also highlight how pop culture can conform to and solidify existing social hierarchies, whilst on other occasions contest and resist the status quo. Front and center in this collection are issues of gender and sexuality, making visible the ways in which subjects who inhabit intersectional identities (sex, gender, race, class) are "othered", as well as demonstrating how these same subjects can, and do, use pop-cultural phenomena in self-affirmative and progressively transformative ways. Topics covered in this volume include TV, film, pop and performance art, hip-hop, dance, slam poetry, gender-fluid religious ritual, theater, stand-up comedy, graffiti, videogames, photography, graphic arts, sports spectacles, comic books, sci-fi and other genre novels, lotería card games, news, web, and digital media.
In the past, more often than not, aggressive women have been rebuked, told to keep a lid on, turn the other cheek, get over it. Repression more than aggression was seen as woman's domain. But recently there's been a noticeable cultural shift. With growing frequency, women's aggression is now celebrated in contemporary culture—in movies and TV, online ventures, and art. In Push Comes to Shove, Maud Lavin examines these new images of aggressive women and how they affect women's lives.
Aggression, says Lavin, need not entail causing harm to another; we can think of it as the use of force to create change—fruitful, destructive, or both. And over the past twenty years, contemporary culture has shown women seizing this power. Lavin chooses provocative examples to explore the complexity of aggression, including the surfer girls in Blue Crush, Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect, the homicidal women in Kill Bill, and artist Marlene McCarty's mural-sized Murder Girls.
Women need aggression and need to use it consciously, Lavin writes. With Push Comes to Shove, she explores the crucial questions of how to manifest aggression, how to represent it, and how to keep open a cultural space for it.
The experience of the evacuees can be seen as a three-act drama: delivery to Australia creates tension, five years of war and uncertainty intensify it, and resolution comes as war ends. However, that drama, unlike the evacuation plan, did not develop in a vacuum but was embedded in a complex historical, political, and social environment. Based on archival research of official documents, letters and memoirs, and interviews and discussions with more than one hundred evacuees and their families, this book studies the evacuation within that entire context.
‘Reduced to a Symbolical Scale is an original and interesting addition to the evacuation literature. Tony Banham has done a masterly job of integrating archival documents with other forms of communication. The stories of individual evacuees and their families are very skilfully woven into the narrative.’—John Welshman, Lancaster University; author of Churchill’s Children: The Evacuee Experience in Wartime Britain