Historicizing Post-Discourses

Postfeminism and Postracialism in United States Culture

By Tanya Ann Kennedy

Subjects: Feminist, Women's Studies, Cultural Studies, American Studies, American Culture
Series: SUNY series in Feminist Criticism and Theory
Paperback : 9781438464787, 260 pages, July 2017
Hardcover : 9781438464770, 260 pages, March 2017

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Table of contents


1. Framing the Past: The Help and Mad Men as Posthistory

2. Of Girls and Men: Working the Historical Capital of Racist Patriarchy

3. “Plastic Woman”: The New Gender Essentialism

4. Do You See What I See?: Postfeminism and Colorblind Diversity

Conclusion: Juneteenth 2015

Works Cited

Examines how postfeminism and postracialism intersect to perpetuate systemic injustice in the United States.


Historicizing Post-Discourses explores how postfeminism and postracialism intersect in dominant narratives of triumphalism, white male crisis, neoliberal and colonial feminism, and multiculturalism to perpetuate systemic injustice in America. By examining various locations within popular culture, including television shows such as Mad Men and The Wire; books such as The Help and Lean In; as well as Hollywood films, fan forums, political blogs, and presidential speeches, Tanya Ann Kennedy demonstrates the dominance of postfeminism and postracialism in US culture. In addition, she shows how post-discourses create affective communities through their engineering of the history of both race and gender justice.

Tanya Ann Kennedy is Associate Professor of Humanities at the University of Maine at Farmington and the author of "Keeping Up Her Geography": Women's Writing and Geocultural Space in Twentieth-Century U.S. Literature and Culture.


"This book makes a welcome contribution to both feminist media studies and critical race studies by addressing a crucial and often overlooked discursive intersection of contemporary cultural life, where postfeminism meets postracial discourse. The scholarship is conceptually sophisticated, critically informed, and intellectually robust." — Hannah Hamad, author of Postfeminism and Paternity in Contemporary U.S. Film: Framing Fatherhood