Mixed Feelings: Feminism, Mass Culture, and Victorian Sensationalism

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Overview

Arguing that affect has a history, Ann Cvetkovich challenges both nineteenth- and twentieth-century claims that the expression of feeling is naturally or intrinsically liberating or reactionary. The central focus of Mixed Feelings is the Victorian sensation novel, the fad genre of the 1860s, whose controversial popularity marks an important moment in the history of mass culture. Drawing on Marxist, feminist, and Foucauldian cultural theory, Cvetkovich investigates the sensation novel's power to produce emotional responses, its representation of social problems as affective ones, and the difficulties involved in assessing the genre as either reactionary or subversive. She is particularly concerned with the relation of gender and affect since many of the sensation novels were written by and for women, and women. By examining the powerful conjunction of ideologies of affect, gender, and mass culture, Cvetkovich reveals the powerful political effects of affective expression and sensational representations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813518572
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 8.66 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Cvetkovich is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Politics of Affect 1
1 Marketing Affect: The Nineteenth-Century Sensation Novel 13
2 Theorizing Affect: Twentieth-Century Mass Culture Criticism 26
3 Detective in the House: Subversion and Containment in Lady Audley's Secret 45
4 Ghostlier Determinations: The Economy of Sensation and The Woman in White 71
5 Crying for Power: East Lynne and Maternal Melodrama 97
6 The Inside Story: On Sympathy in Daniel Deronda 128
7 Marx's Capital and the Mystery of the Commodity 165
Epilogue 199
Notes 205
Index 223
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