PhD Student Heather Brown Writes About Her First Journal Publication

Heather Brown’s PhD is titled: The New ‘Normal’: Gender, Performance and Abusive Behaviour in Young Adult Fiction.

Heather’s article “Fictional Power and Control and the Reality of Abusive Behaviour” has been published by the Journal of Gender Studies, and is available to view online.

 

As my first academic article to be peer reviewed and be accepted for publication, it has been an exciting and daunting experience. Having my work independently reviewed has been a worthwhile and encouraging experience as I move towards first year confirmation.

Based partly on a chapter from my Honours thesis, this article is a comparative analysis of Stephanie Meyer’s 10th anniversary re-release of Twilight and Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (2015), which tells a similar story to Twilight but with the genders reversed. In the foreword, Meyer states that she wrote Life and Death in response to critics who complained about Bella’s portrayal as a typical ‘damsel in distress’. Meyer argued that in changing the genders from Edward to Edythe, and Bella to Beau, Life and Death tells exactly the same story as Twilight. The article argues that the reverse is in fact true. Life and Death is more than a simple swap of pronouns and names. It argues that far from supporting Meyer’s claims that the gender changes make no difference to the fictional relationship, Life and Death reinforces culturally acceptable gendered relationship behaviours which align masculinity with abusive behaviour and femininity with more equitable non-violent behaviour in intimate relationships.

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