Post-feminism at an impasse? The woman author heroine in postrecessionary American film

Marie-Alix Thouaille

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


In this article, I sketch some of the ways in which postrecessionary films such as Young Adult problematise post-feminism as a “genre of living.” In deploying heroines who orient themselves toward the post-feminist good life by taking up the desirable subjectivity of “woman author” and yet find themselves unable to reap the promises of post-feminism, these texts exemplify what Lauren Berlant terms “cruel optimism.” Through its analysis of Young Adult, this article advocates for the need to integrate affect theory concepts and methodologies in the study of post-feminist media culture. Affect theory, and in particular the framework of cruel optimism, I contend, has the potential to open up new avenues of enquiry within the study of post-feminism, a critical genre that has arguably arrived at an impasse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-509
Number of pages15
JournalFeminist Media Studies
Issue number4
Early online date12 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • affect theory
  • cruel optimism
  • Post-feminism
  • post-postfeminism
  • Young Adult

Cite this