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The apocalypse is masculine – Masculinities in crisis in survivalist film

Doyle, B. (2012) The apocalypse is masculine – Masculinities in crisis in survivalist film. IM: Interactive Media, 8 .

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A continued concern amongst humanities scholars and artists is our fascination with the apocalyptic. While belief in revelation may be less common now than in the past, Frank Kermode observes that 'the paradigms of apocalypse continue to lie under our ways of making sense in the world'.

This paper is a typology of masculinity in popular apocalyptic texts and a series of exercises in 'thinking beyond', aimed at proposing alternative visions of gender and considering post-apocalyptic subjectivity, it identifies texts that express a masculine desire termed 'apocalyptic nostalgia', including Man V Wild, Fight Club, First Blood and The Road. Through examining protagonists whose apocalyptic survivalism involves a performance of 'traditional' masculine characteristics such as stoicism, physical strength, Christian morality and skills associated with outdoor living, I argue that these texts demonstrate ways in which apocalyptic desire operates to reinstate the authority of social constructions such as race, gender and religion.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: National Academy of Screen and Sound
Copyright: © IM/NASS 2012
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