From the frozen wilderness to the moody sea: Rural space, girlhood and popular pedagogy

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Abstract

This paper turns to debates in post-critical public pedagogy to focus on how a small body of films might potentially work as vehicles for teaching and learning about youth, gender and space. It is argued that representations of the rural shape what is possible for girlhood, being both enabling and constraining for the subject. Framed by discourses around the politics of representing the rural, a range of popular Australian films will be analysed to think about how popular film might use representations of the rural to educate spectators about girls as 'successful', 'in crisis' and/or as girls asserting 'girlpower'. The films include four key Australian 'coming of age' films about girls growing up in rural/rural coastal locales: Peaches set in a sleepy town on the banks of the Murray River, Somersault set in the frozen wilderness of Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains, Caterpillar Wish set in the coastal town full of secrets and lies, and in Indigenous film maker Ivan Sen's Beneath Clouds, showing the Country passed through during a rural New South Wales road trip.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-583
Number of pages16
JournalGender and Education
Volume26
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2014

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