umu.sePublications
Change search
Link to record
Permanent link

Direct link
BETA
Publications (10 of 24) Show all publications
Åström, B. (2019). From Understanding Mother to Hero Father: The Story of Ferdinand the Bull.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From Understanding Mother to Hero Father: The Story of Ferdinand the Bull
2019 (English)Other (Other academic)
Keywords
motherhood, masculinity, animated film
National Category
Cultural Studies
Research subject
gender studies; English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-163437 (URN)
Projects
In Media Res
Available from: 2019-09-19 Created: 2019-09-19 Last updated: 2020-02-24Bibliographically approved
Åström, B. (2019). Shakespeare and 'Shakespere' in Justin Cronin and Emily St John Mandel. Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction, 48(134), 19-31
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Shakespeare and 'Shakespere' in Justin Cronin and Emily St John Mandel
2019 (English)In: Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction, ISSN 0306-4964, Vol. 48, no 134, p. 19-31Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There appears to be an affinity between Shakespeare and postapocalyptic fiction. His works are invoked in a number of such novels, including Justin Cronin’s The Passage (2010) and Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven (2014). Cronin’s novel is mainly set ninety-two years after a failed military experiment that has turned a large part of the American population into vampires, where what is left of humanity is living under a constant threat of violent extinction. Here Shakespeare is only present in a number of epigraphs, what Gerard Genette has referred to as ‘mute gesture[s]’ (156). In Mandel’s novel, set mainly in an America slowly recovering twenty years after a devastating influenza epidemic that killed millions of people, Shakespeare has a greater presence, both through the framing story of a production of King Lear, and through a travelling acting company, which almost exclusively performs Shakespeare’s plays. In this article I investigate the various ways in which Shakespeare is referenced and utilised, as well as which of his texts the authors have chosen to include, discussing what work the Shakespearean references perform and how they relate to questions of cultural memory. I argue that the epigraphs in The Passage, although relying on the reader’s participation in application and interpretation in order not to be a ‘mute gesture’, could be said to be of greater relevance to the reception and understanding of the novel, than Station Eleven’s often casual references to Shakespeare’s ‘greatest hits’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dagenham: Science Fiction Foundation, 2019
Keywords
science fiction, genre fiction, cultural capital
National Category
Specific Literatures
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-165055 (URN)
Available from: 2019-11-07 Created: 2019-11-07 Last updated: 2019-11-25Bibliographically approved
Åström, B. (2018). Post-feminist fatherhood and the marginalization of the mother in Cormac McCarthy's the road. Women - A Cultural Review, 29(1), 112-128
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Post-feminist fatherhood and the marginalization of the mother in Cormac McCarthy's the road
2018 (English)In: Women - A Cultural Review, ISSN 0957-4042, E-ISSN 1470-1367, Vol. 29, no 1, p. 112-128Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Critics have tended to dismiss feminist analyses of Cormac McCarthy's works as misguided, labelling investigations of potential narrative misogyny in his novels as irrelevant. In this article, the author argues that such investigations are, on the contrary, highly relevant in the current climate of mother-blaming. The author specifically explains how McCarthy’s 2006 dystopian novel The Road uses post-feminist fatherhood to valorize the father and vilify the mother, thus participating in a continuing cultural trend of privileging fathers over mothers. The Road invokes traditional cultural expectations of motherhood and fatherhood, presenting the mother as unable and unwilling to care for the boy, in stark contrast to the very competent and able father. Many literary analyses of this highly acclaimed novel have unquestioningly accepted the post-feminist marginalization of the mother, and critics have elaborated on and developed the mother-blaming in the novel in a move that the author terms ‘critical co-writing’. Critical co-writing occurs when critics ally themselves with an author, rather than retaining a critical distance, and represent the author's ideas without problematizing them. In the case of The Road, many critics build on post-feminist cues in the novel, adding their own, unreflected, understandings of motherhood and fatherhood. In so doing, they reinterpret and rewrite the novel into an even more forceful presentation of flawed mothering. In a critical discussion of these readings, the author demonstrates how these critics transform the novel's implicit criticism of the mother character into explicit condemnation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Abingdon: Routledge, 2018
Keywords
Cormac McCarthy, dystopian fiction, fatherhood, motherhood, post-feminism
National Category
Cultural Studies Specific Literatures General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature; gender studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-146132 (URN)10.1080/09574042.2018.1425539 (DOI)000428842900007 ()
Note

Special issue

Available from: 2018-04-03 Created: 2018-04-03 Last updated: 2020-03-30Bibliographically approved
Åström, B. (2017). Dying to create a hero: changing meanings of death in childbirth?. In: Frances Greenslade (Ed.), Absent mothers: (pp. 7-16). Bradford: Demeter Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dying to create a hero: changing meanings of death in childbirth?
2017 (English)In: Absent mothers / [ed] Frances Greenslade, Bradford: Demeter Press, 2017, p. 7-16Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The greatest gift a mother can bestow on her son is to die in childbirth, Pliny the Elder argued as early as AD 77, using Julius Caesar as one example. The link between maternal death and military prowess has persisted through the centuries. Knights and warriors such as Tristram, the Arthurian Knight of Sorrows, and Macduff, are shown to be great men, because they have freed themselves from the taint of the maternal body, as Janet Adelman has discussed in Suffocating Mothers, effectively giving birth to themselves. In this chapter I chart the changing use of the trope of the warrior emerging from his mother's dead or dying body. Older iterations are read against the 2011 film Conan, in which the mother's death is reinterpreted into an act of heroism on her part, which confers glory on both mother and son. However, she still dies, and in my analysis I ask the question why it is still the case that a mother must die for her son to become successful.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bradford: Demeter Press, 2017
Keywords
film, Conan the barbarian, Pliny the elder, Macduff, Tristram, maternal death
National Category
Cultural Studies
Research subject
Literature; gender studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-139752 (URN)978-1-77258-123-2 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-09-21 Created: 2017-09-21 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
Åström, B. (2017). Introduction: explaining and exploring the dead or absent mother. In: Berit Åström (Ed.), The absent mother in the cultural imagination: missing, presumed dead (pp. 1-21). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Introduction: explaining and exploring the dead or absent mother
2017 (English)In: The absent mother in the cultural imagination: missing, presumed dead / [ed] Berit Åström, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, p. 1-21Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter addresses the question of why the dead/absent mother-trope is invoked in so many narratives and the many answers given, in mainstream conversations in various online media as well as in scholarly analyses. The chapter includes an overview of previous scholarly research, which is grouped according to the explanatory model given, rather than chronologically. Such an organization generates useful insights, not only into how scholars have approached the dead/absent mother-trope, but also into the transhistorical character of the trope itself. The chapter is concluded with an overview of the other chapters in the anthology, showing how they demonstrate that the dead/absent mother-trope is a cultural conversation that transcends historical and generic divisions. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017
Keywords
gender, motherhood, psychoanalysis, historiography, transhistoricism
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138281 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-49037-3 (DOI)978-3-319-49036-6 (ISBN)978-3-319-49037-3 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-08-16 Created: 2017-08-16 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
Åström, B. (2017). Marginalizing motherhood: postfeminist fathers and dead mothers in animated film. In: Berit Åström (Ed.), The absent mother in the cultural imagination: missing, presumed dead (pp. 241-258). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Marginalizing motherhood: postfeminist fathers and dead mothers in animated film
2017 (English)In: The absent mother in the cultural imagination: missing, presumed dead / [ed] Berit Åström, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, p. 241-258Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

It is a commonplace that very few mothers survive to the end of animated feature films. The construction of the families and fathers the mothers leave behind has changed over the last few decades, however, as well as the reasons the mothers disappear. In this chapter, the films The Little Mermaid (1995), Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Aladdin (1992) are contrasted to the more recent Finding Nemo (2003), Chicken Little (2005) and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009). This chapter analyzes how the trope of the dead mother intersects with the trend towards representations of postfeminist fatherhood in popular culture, and discusses how a new type of parenting is created, which, although progressive in many ways, is still predicated on the absence of the mother. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017
Keywords
gender, animated film, postfeminism
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138284 (URN)978-3-319-49036-6 (ISBN)978-3-319-49037-3 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-08-16 Created: 2017-08-16 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
Åström, B. (Ed.). (2017). The absent mother in the cultural imagination: missing, presumed dead. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The absent mother in the cultural imagination: missing, presumed dead
2017 (English)Collection (editor) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This anthology explores the recurring trope of the dead or absent mother in Western cultural productions. Across historical periods and genres, this dialogue has been employed to articulate and debate questions of politics and religion, social and cultural change as well as issues of power and authority within the family. Åström seeks to investigate the many functions and meanings of the dialogue by covering extensive materials from the 1200s to 2014 including hagiography, romances, folktales, plays, novels, children's literature and graphic novels, as well as film and television. This is achived by looking at the discourse both as products of the time and culture that produced the various narratives and as part of an on-going cultural conversation that spans the centuries, resulting in an innovative text that will be of great interest to all scholars og gender, feminist and media studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. p. 264
Keywords
gender, film, television, drama, motherhood, early modern, hagiography, romance, fairy tales, graphic novels, horror
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
literature for children and adolescents; English; gender studies; Literature
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138279 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-49037-3 (DOI)978-3-319-49036-6 (ISBN)978-3-319-49037-3 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-08-16 Created: 2017-08-16 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
Åström, B. (2016). Döda mammor och ensamstående pappor: föräldraskap i tecknad film. In: Karin Lövgren (Ed.), Att konstruera en kvinna: berättelser om normer, flickor och tanter (pp. 79-98). Lund: Nordic Academic Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Döda mammor och ensamstående pappor: föräldraskap i tecknad film
2016 (Swedish)In: Att konstruera en kvinna: berättelser om normer, flickor och tanter / [ed] Karin Lövgren, Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2016, p. 79-98Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2016
Keywords
tecknad film, döda mammor, Disney
National Category
Cultural Studies Gender Studies
Research subject
gender studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109508 (URN)978-91-88168-25-2 (ISBN)
Available from: 2015-09-29 Created: 2015-09-29 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
Åström, B. (2015). A Narrative of Fear: Advice to Mothers. Literature and medicine, 33(1), 113-131
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Narrative of Fear: Advice to Mothers
2015 (English)In: Literature and medicine, ISSN 0278-9671, E-ISSN 1080-6571, Vol. 33, no 1, p. 113-131Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Taking present-day research into so-called new momism and intense mothering as a starting point, this article argues that the current mothering discourse, rather than articulating a new phenomenon, perpetuates a regulative discourse developed in the nineteenth century, in advice books written by medical doctors for pregnant women and new mothers. Both the Victorian and the present-day texts play on feelings of guilt and inadequacy in order to control the actions and emotions of mothers, although the threatened outcome differs: present-day mothers are warned that their children may become obese or develop neuropsychological disorders, whereas Victorian mothers are warned that their children might die.

Keywords
mothering discourse, advice books, childcare
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-106619 (URN)10.1353/lm.2015.0001 (DOI)000357240300006 ()26095843 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-07-27 Created: 2015-07-24 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
Åström, B. (2015). "Because My Mother was a Liar and a Whore": Adulterous Mothers and Paternity Uncertainty in Jo Nesbø’s The Snowman. In: Vanessa Reimer, Sarah Sahagian (Ed.), The Mother-Blame Game: (pp. 204-218). Toronto: Demeter Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Because My Mother was a Liar and a Whore": Adulterous Mothers and Paternity Uncertainty in Jo Nesbø’s The Snowman
2015 (English)In: The Mother-Blame Game / [ed] Vanessa Reimer, Sarah Sahagian, Toronto: Demeter Press, 2015, p. 204-218Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Toronto: Demeter Press, 2015
Keywords
motherhood studies, paternity uncertainty, adultery
National Category
Cultural Studies
Research subject
gender studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109577 (URN)978-1-926452-14-2 (ISBN)
Available from: 2015-09-30 Created: 2015-09-30 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-7243-0059

Search in DiVA

Show all publications