Ageing Women in Literature and Visual Culture

Reflections, Refractions, Reimaginings

Editors: McGlynn, Cathy, O’Neill, Margaret, Schrage-Früh, Michaela (Eds.)


This timely collection engages with representations of women and ageing in literature and visual culture. Acknowledging that cultural conceptions of ageing are constructed and challenged across a variety of media and genres, the editors bring together experts in literature and visual culture to foster a dialogue across disciplines. Exploring the process of ageing in its cultural reflections, refractions and reimaginings, the contributors to this volume analyse how artists, writers, directors and performers challenge, and in some cases reaffirm, cultural constructions of ageing women, as well as give voice to ageing women’s subjectivities. Ageing Women in Literature and Visual Culture puts into conversation interconnected disciplines around four overarching topics: Narratives of Ageing, Social Roles, The Body and Embodiment as well as Class, Race and Agency, and concludes with an afterword by Germaine Greer which suggests possible avenues for future research.

“This book offers a unique appraisal of visual cultures of women’s ageing across literature, the arts and contemporary mass media. It is wonderfully positive without shrinking from matters of the body, dementia and death. Its well- written and empirically rich chapters revitalise feminist critical accounts of age and opens up space for much needed intergenerational and interdisciplinary dialogue. The book is a ‘must read’ for cultural gerontologists and feminists – of all ages!” (Professor Jayne Raisborough, Leeds Beckett University, UK, author of Lifestyle Media and the Formation of the Self and Fat Bodies, Health and the Media)

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