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Sex and the garden : representations of Eve in postfeminist popular culture

Edwards, Katie (2008) Sex and the garden : representations of Eve in postfeminist popular culture. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Biblical scholars have paid considerable attention to the reception history of the Bible in film, art and music. Advertising, however, remains a neglected area of research in biblical studies. Popular culture is a fertile ground for research into the cultural reception of biblical figures, and the biblical figure of Eve is the most frequently represented of them all. She is especially prominent in postfeminist advertising from 1990 onwards because she embodies the Zeitgeist of the postfeminist era. Eve functions as a postfeminist icon for female consumer power, advertising cosmetics, clothing and food, almost always to a targeted 1834 year-old female consumer. Despite the postfeminist pretensions of contemporary Eve advertising, the imagery of female sexual empowerment employed in popular culture, I argue, merely recycles old stereotypes of woman as temptress. This thesis seeks to make a contribution to the study of Bible in popular culture by analysing representations of Eve in advertising and film. It compares nineteenth-century representations of the femme fatale with contemporary postfeminist advertising images of Eve and 1960s filmic representations of Eve with contemporary Eve films to show that, even after two waves of the feminist movement, the image of Eve as sexual temptress has not changed but rather remained constant The thesis investigates the ongoing appeal of Eve as a Cultural symbol, and asks to what extent the predominant popular cultural image of Eve has its seeds in the biblical text, and what it is about the biblical text that lends itself to appropriation by those who wish to exploit Eve's cultural meanings.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Biblical Studies (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.489713
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2014 15:36
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2014 15:36
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6110

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