Konferensartikel

Spectacular Queens and the Morals of Excessive Femininity

Cecilia Åsberg
Gender Studies, Utrecht University, Holland / Linköping University, Sweden Linköping University, Sweden Linköping University, Holland/Sweden

Ladda ner artikelhttp://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_article/index.en.aspx?issue=025;article=069

Ingår i: Inter: A European Cultural Studies : Conference in Sweden 11-13 June 2007

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 25:69, s. 687-705

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Publicerad: 2007-11-27

ISBN:

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)

Abstract

Popular history is the stuff of connection; belonging and citizenship. It offers us imagined community (Anderson 1983); and more precisely; a shared historical imaginary (Dawson 1994; Elsaesser 2000). Through new and old media; imagined communities stretch beyond national borders and provide us with both opportunities for understanding ourselves; for mirroring and critical reflection; as well as for creative interventions. As expressed in for instance film; books; journals and websites; popular history seems increasingly popular in the North European context. In this paper I will tentatively approach a select range of popular versions of historical queens; like Queen Christina of Sweden and Marie Antoinette of France. Both are in the historical imaginary connected with excessive life styles; with arbitrary and wasteful ways that came to abrupt ends (abdication and decapitation). But their distinct and well-known personas have also provided a source of pleasure as they have echoed powerfully throughout contemporary popular culture as well as within a feminist imaginary of alternatives. In magnified proportions these queens; in two different ways of doing their gender; open up a space for consumerist; ruthless; exaggerated and anything but natural versions of femininity. In this paper I will explore the appeal of such performances today in relation to issues of cultural citizenship and subject positioning; history in public and the morals of excessive femininity.

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