Motherhood Misconceived: Representing the Maternal in U.S. Films


First collection of essays on cinematic motherhood.
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First collection of essays on cinematic motherhood.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This collection has an engaging, lively introduction co-authored by the three editors that manages to address both film studies specialists and non-specialists in its analysis of why representations of the maternal in U.S. films should concern us and precisely what the collection tells us about those representations.” — Femspec

“This intriguing book collects sharp essays, by key scholars in film studies, questioning the ‘maternal’ image in American cinema from the early 1900s to the present … Illustrated with more than 20 well-chosen images, this book belongs in every serious collection of feminist film criticism.” — CHOICE

“This collection focuses on Hollywood’s portrayal of motherhood in a clear, coherent fashion and addresses a variety of subtopics, including the mother-to-be, the single mother, the aging mother, the transsexual mother, and the mother in various genres.” — Lucy Fischer, author of Designing Women: Cinema, Art Deco, and the Female Form

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781438428123
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 10/8/2009
  • Pages: 277
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Heather Addison is Associate Professor of Film Studies at Western Michigan University and author of Hollywood and the Rise of Physical Culture.

Mary Kate Goodwin-Kelly is an independent scholar living in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Elaine Roth is Associate Professor of Film Studies at Indiana University South Bend.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Heather Addison, Mary Kate Goodwin-Kelly, and Elaine Roth

I. The Celluloid Stork: Picturing Pregnancy

1. Pregnant Body and/as Smoking Gun: Reviewing the Evidence of Fargo
Mary Kate Goodwin-Kelly

2. Mother’s Day: Taking the Mother Out of Motherhood in The Thrill of It All
Tamar Jeffers McDonald

3. Not Exactly According to the Rules: Pregnancy and Motherhood in Sugar & Spice
Madonne M. Miner

II. Constructions of Motherhood: Mothers, Daughters, and Sex

4. Modernizing Mother: The Maternal Figure in Early Hollywood
Heather Addison

5. “Whose Baby Are You?”: Mother/Daughter Discourse in the Star Images of Mary Pickford and Joan Crawford
Gaylyn Studlar

6. “You Just Hate Men!”: Maternal Sexuality and the Nuclear Family in Gas, Food, Lodging
Elaine Roth

III. Horriffic Mothers and the Mothers of Horror

7. Hollywood’s “Moms” and Postwar America
Mike Chopra-Gant

8. Alfred Hitchcock and the Phobic Maternal Body
Mun-Hou Lo

9. Paranoia, Cold Surveillance, and the Maternal Gaze: Reconsidering the “Absent Mother” in Ordinary People
Mark Harper

10. Scream, Popular Culture, and Feminism’s Third Wave: “I’m Not My Mother”
Kathleen Rowe Karlyn

IV. Maternal Anxieties of Class, Race, and Gender

11. Great Ladies and Guttersnipes: Class and the Representation of Southern Mothers in Hollywood Films
Aimee Berger

12. “Don’t Say Mammy”: Camille Billops’s Meditations on Black Motherhood
Janet K. Cutler

13. From Dad to Mom: Transgendered Motherhood in Transamerica
Mary M. Dalton

List of Contributors

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