The Child in Post-Apocalyptic Cinema
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The Child in Post-Apocalyptic Cinema

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Description

The child in many post-apocalyptic films occupies a unique space within the narrative, a space that oscillates between death and destruction, faith and hope. The Child in Post-Apocalyptic Cinema interrogates notions of the child as a symbol of futurity and also loss. By exploring the ways children function discursively within a dystopian framework we may better understand how and why traditional notions of childhood are repeatedly tethered to sites of adult conflict and disaster, a connection that often functions to reaffirm the "rightness" of past systems of social order. This collection features critical articles that explore the role of the child character in post-apocalyptic cinema, including classic, recent, and international films, approached from a variety of theoretical, methodological, and cultural perspectives.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 244 pages
  • 157.48 x 226.06 x 22.86mm | 498.95g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 27 black & white halftones
  • 0739194283
  • 9780739194287

About Debbie C. Olson

Debbie Olson is lecturer at the University of Texas at Arlington.show more

Review quote

This edited collection brings childhood studies into an important conversation with a dominant genre of recent years: post-apocalyptic cinema. Olson unites a group of international scholars who examine some expected films (The Road and The Children of Men), but also some unexpected ones (The Omega Man, I Am Legend, Dawn of the Dead, and Daybreakers). The result is a diverse and fascinating examination of how, as Olson puts it, 'the Child ... defines the lost past/present and becomes a motivational, almost sacred image to spur on reclamation of the future.' -- Karen J. Renner, Northern Arizona University The essays in this valuable collection highlight the central but under examined trope of the child in post-apocalyptic cinema as a symbol caught between the competing tensions of nostalgia and futurity. Drawing upon a rich critical tradition, The Child in Post Apocalyptic Cinema theorizes this common figure, considering the child's role as instrument and agent within this genre and demonstrating the narrative, ethical, and philosophical stakes of its deployment. This is a welcome contribution in the areas of media studies and childhood studies. -- Meredith A. Bak, Rutgers Universityshow more

Table of contents

Introduction, Debbie Olson Chapter 1: Monstrous Conceptions: Reading Cronenberg's The Brood (1979) and Anton Leader's Children of the Damned (1963), Aryak Guha Chapter 2: Sustenance for the Body and the Soul: Children as a Vision of the Future of Humanity, and a Reflection of Past Sins in Post-Apocalyptic Cinema, Jennifer Brown Chapter 3: Perpetual Horizons: Reproductive Futurity in Post-Apocalyptic Films, Mark Heimermann Chapter 4: The Child is my Warrant: Virtue, Violence and The Road's Radical Humanism, Joseph Wiinikka-Lydon Chapter 5: Space and Children in Post-Apocalyptic Film: The Road and Les Temps du Loup, Eduardo Barros-Grela and Maria Bobadilla Perez Chapter 6: When Disney Went Apocalyptic: The Symbolism of Apocalyptic Images in a Post-9/11 World, Eric D. Miller Chapter 7: Children of Hope: Portrayal of Children in Post-Apocalyptic Films after 9/11, Betul Atesci Kocak Chapter 8: "Until the world deserves them": Representations of children in The Day After, Testament, and Threads, Tarah Brookfield Chapter 9: Emperor Tomato Ketchup: The Child as the Dictator of Mankind, Frank Jacob Chapter 10: The Specter of the Postcolonial Child and Faux Long Takes in Cuaron's Children of Men, James M. Hodapp Chapter 11: Persistently Ambivalent: Children, Race, Sexuality, and a Post-Apocalyptic Hollywood Interracial Future, Glen Donnar Chapter 12: "Not the Little Blonde Innocent You Picture": Race and "Innocent" Girlhood in The Hunger Games Fandom, Cassandra L. Jonesshow more