The Feminist Futures of American Studies: Addressing the Post-Weinstein Media and Cultural Landscape
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This article reflects on the long-term and recent developments in the interdisciplinary field of American studies and its imbrications with its cultural and political contexts. Pushing back against premature assertions of feminism's obsolescence, I argue that scholars and teachers of American studies and media studies must take the popular seriously―popular film and television as well as popular political movements. Given the growing demand from students for a deeper and more sustained engagement with intersectional feminism, the article works through some short case studies to urge even the confirmed feminists to rethink and refresh their approaches to teaching and performing scholarship to best provide students with the theoretical tools to strengthen and define their feminism as a discipline as well as an attitude. Inspired by the popular 2014 movement, "The Year of Reading Women," the #metoo and #timesup phenomena, and the popularity of and backlash against celebrity feminism of Beyoncé and others, this article weaves together academic and pop-cultural sources such as Sara Ahmed and Roxane Gay to underscore our responsibility to maintain, nurture, and contribute to the progress made by previous generations of feminists.