AGING STUDIES SERIES
Series Editors: Ulla Kriebernegg, Heike Hartung and Roberta Maierhofer
Living and aging as a productive antagonism. Aging and growing older are processes which cannot be reduced to the chronology of years but which are shaped by the individual's interaction with the changing circumstances of life.
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Aging and Traveling
(expected June 2017)
This volume aims to bridge the disciplinary gap between tourism studies and aging studies. It investigates the intersections of tourism and aging from a variety of perspectives which focus on the many ways in which senior tourism is socially constructed and/or individually experienced. The essays tackle key topics ranging from the socio-economic aspects of post-retirement travel to the representations of the traveling elderly in literature, film and media, and the influence of travel on late-life creativity.
Care Home Stories
Aging, Disability, and long-term Residential Care
(expected April 2017)
Institutional care for seniors offers a cultural repository for fears and hopes about an aging population. Although enormous changes have occurred in how institutional care is structured, the legacies of the poor house still persist, creating panicked views of the nursing home as a dreaded fate. The paradoxical nature of a space meant to be both hospital and home offers up critical tensions for examination by age studies scholars.
The essays in this book challenge stereotypes of institutional care for older adults, illustrate the changes that have occurred over time, and illuminate the continuities in the stories we tell about nursing homes.
A Senior Moment
Cultural Mediations of Memory and Ageing
(expected April 2017)
Ageing and memory – two aspects of life everybody has to face eventually. The contributions to this volume explore the cultural mediations of these categories. Through a series of approaches focused on practices and acts of memory, narratives, reminiscence, representation and collective memory, they seek to better understand and critically reflect on how ageing is experienced in variegated ways across the lifespan. By covering a variety of phenomena, from biopics, music by the elderly, and artefacts, among other, they all contribute to further the understanding of memory as a cultural process always in the making – situated in particular contexts, and shaped by its material conditions of existence.
Salty Old Women
Frauen, Altern und Identität in der amerikanischen Literatur und Kultur
(2. Auflage - überarbeitete Neuausgabe)
(expected April 2017)
Der amerikanische Feminismus ist alt und grau geworden. Roberta Maierhofers Studie setzt an der Schnittstelle zwischen Identität, Alter und Geschlecht an und lässt die »Salty Old Women« neben die hinlänglich bekannten »Sweet Old Ladies« treten.
Durch einen anokritischen Zugang, der in Anlehnung an Elaine Showalters »gynocriticism« die Annahme ablehnt, dass die Biologie des Menschen identitätsbestimmend den sozialen und kulturellen Stellenwert festlegt, begibt sie sich auf die Suche nach einer spezifischen weiblichen Kultur des Alterns.
Alter(n) als soziale und kulturelle Praxis
Ordnungen – Beziehungen – Materialitäten
(expected February 2017)
Wie wird man eigentlich alt? Können Dinge auch altern? Und wie verändern sich die eigenen biographischen Erfahrungen und der Umgang mit Erinnerung(en)?
Dieser Band rückt die Frage nach den Beziehungen des Alter(n)s ins Zentrum und stellt dabei verschiedene interdisziplinäre Perspektiven auf das Altern als soziale Praxis und kulturelle Ordnung vor. Entlang der drei leitenden Begriffe – Ordnungen, Praktiken, Materialitäten – loten die ethnographischen, historischen und diskursorientierte Beiträge kulturelle Vorstellungen, alltagsweltliche Aushandlungen und materielle Erscheinungsformen des Alter(n)s aus.
Traces of Aging
Old Age and Memory in Contemporary Narrative
(published March 2016)
This collection consists of eight essays that examine the way narratives determine our understanding of old age and condition how the experience is lived. Contributors to this volume have based their analysis on the concept of »narrative identity« developed by Paul Ricoeur, built upon the idea that fiction makes life, and on his definition of »trace« as the mark of time. By investigating the traces of aging imprinted in a series of literary and filmic works they dismantle the narrative of old age as decline and foreclosure to assemble one of transformation and growth.
Aging and Old Age in TV Series
(published December 2015)
Serialized storytelling provides intriguing opportunities for critical representations of age and aging. In contrast to the finite character of films, television narratives can unfold across hundreds of episodes and multiple seasons. Contemporary viewing practices and new media technologies have resulted in complex television narratives, in which experimental temporalities and revisions of narrative linearity and chronological time have become key features. As the first of its kind, this volume investigates how TV series as a powerful cultural medium shape representations of age and aging, such as in »Orange Is The New Black«, »The Wire« or »Desperate Housewives«, to understand what it means to live in time.
Public Expressions and Representations of Forgetfulness
(published November 2015)
How are individual and social ideas of late-onset dementia shaped and negotiated in film, literature, the arts, and the media? And how can the symbolic forms provided by popular culture be adopted and transformed by those affected in order to express their own perspectives? This international and interdisciplinary volume summarizes central current research trends and opens new theoretical and empirical perspectives on dementia in popular culture. It includes contributions by internationally renowned scholars from the humanities, social and cultural gerontology, age(ing) studies, cultural studies, philosophy, and bioethics.
Contributions by Lucy Burke, Marlene Goldman, Annette Leibing and others.
Alive and Kicking at All Ages: Health, Life Expectancy, and Life Course Identity
The linking of age and ill-health is part of a cultural narrative of decline as age is often defined as the absence of good health. Research has shown that we are aged by culture, but we are also culturally made ill when we age. The cultural ambiguity of aging can thus deconstruct negative images of old age as physical decrepitude. This volume investigates the topic of health within the matrix of time and experience by addressing issues such as how our understanding of health influences our notion of agency within a subversive deconstruction of normative age concepts, and what role the notion of health plays in such an interaction.
Further Information: http://www.transcript-verlag.de/978-3-8376-2582-0/alive-and-kicking-at-all-ages
Vol. IV: Aged Young Adults: Age Readings of Contemporary American Novels and Films
(published in 2014)
When Toula's father in »My Big Fat Greek Wedding« says to his daughter (age 30) »you look so old« or when Don DeLillo's protagonist (age 28) »feels old« in »Cosmopolis«, these young characters are attributed an age awareness that has received little attention in age studies so far. Leaving aside chronological or biological dimensions of age, this study approaches age as a metaphoric practice, suggesting that »feeling old« is not to be taken literally but metaphorically. The book examines the cultural meanings of age and aging and challenges often-quoted labels such as late-coming-of-age story or perpetual adolescence.
Further Information: http://www.transcript-verlag.de/978-3-8376-2483-0/aged-young-adults?c=856
Volume III: “The Ages of Life”: Living and Aging in Conflict?
(published in 2013)
Since antiquity the concept of the ages of life has been related to changing iconographies and representations. These range from Ptolemy's cosmology of the seven ages of life and Galenic medicine's four elements to the ladder of years, which has identified the ages of life with social roles during the eighteenth century. In contemporary Western societies the ages of life have, on the one hand, been redefined as the biography of the individual subject. On the other hand, the category of “youth” has continually been displaced toward the end of the life course, turning living and aging into apparently conflicting processes.
The binary construction of “young” and “old”, which is based on a biogerontological model of aging as decline, can be redefined as the ambiguity of aging from a cultural studies perspective. This cultural ambiguity of aging enables an analysis of the social functions of images of aging in order to provide a basis for interdisciplinary exchange on gerontological knowledge. Such forms of analysis make visible the contradictions between images of positive or “successful aging” in marketing, which target the affluent and healthy 'young old' and may serve as meaningful and empowering for those addressed, while they can also exclude and stigmatize those of the 'oldest old' who face the realities of illness in old age. By contrast, it is also possible to deconstruct apparently negative images of old age as physical decrepitude and disease by focusing on the possibilities of appreciating life even in the oldest age as a form of “successful frailty”. The chapters in this yearbook conceive the relationship between living and aging as a productive antagonism, which focuses on the interplay between continuity and change as a marker of life course identity. Aging and growing older are processes which cannot be reduced to the chronology of years but which are shaped by the individual's interaction with the changing circumstances of life. To the degree that it enables agency, living and aging make possible the subversive deconstruction of normative age concepts.
Further information: http://www.transcript-verlag.de/978-3-8376-2212-6/the-ages-of-life?c=856
Volume II: Aging, Performance, and Stardom: Doing Age on the Stage of Consumerist Culture
(published in 2012)
Aagje Swinnen and John A Stotesbury (Eds.)
In aging studies, age, like other salient markers of identity, is defined not in terms of being but of doing. One adjusts automatically to the implicit norms of age-appropriate behavior that structure everyday life. In Western culture, these norms install a hierarchical dichotomy between the young and the old – the latter still getting the worst of it.
This second volume in the Aging Studies in Europe series focuses on questions concerning the ways in which actors and socialites perform aging on the stage of consumerist culture. How do celebrities, whose star personae are ultimately connected with the prime of their lives, cope with the aging process? Which public practices invite subtle adjustment of age scripts that focus on the decline of physical strength and attractiveness as the years pass?
Further information: http://www.lit-verlag.de/isbn/3-643-90176-7
Volume I: Narratives of Life: Mediating Age
(published in 2008)
Heike Hartung and Roberta Maierhofer (Eds.)
Narratives of Life: Mediating Age. The prospect of increasing longevity has turned aging and old age into a topic of concern in Western societies. The discourse of age and the proliferation of narrative in contemporary media culture both transgress disciplinary boundaries. Addressing the "narratives of life" from different disciplinary angles this volume aims to explore the scope of a narrative gerontology. Aging and the stories that are told about it or from within are transnational and transcultural phenomena. While aging is thus a universal process, attention is also drawn to the categories of difference that it evokes: Historical, social and cultural differences as well as gender differences.
Further information: http://www.lit-verlag.de/isbn/3-8258-1229-4
Call for proposals: WAM Summer School 2017
Celebrating 10 years of WAM
Joint ENAS & NANAS Conference / 9th International Symposium on Cultural Gerontology
Cultural Narratives, Processes and Strategies in Representations of Age and Aging
Call for Papers by the MLA Age Studies Forum
The Modern Language Association Age Studies Forum will propose several panels for the January 2018 MLA convention in NYC.