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The Golden Age: Nostalgia in Word and Image

This volume investigates the diverse applications and conceptions of the term ‘The Golden Age’. The phrase resonates with the theme of nostalgia, which is popularly understood as a wistful longing for the past, but which also denotes homesickness and the unrecoverability of the past. While the term ‘Golden Age’ typically conjures up idealised visions of the past and gestures forward to utopian visions of future golden ages, the idea of nostalgia is suggestive of a discontented present. The Golden Age and nostalgia are therefore related ideas, but are also partly in conflict with one another, as many nostalgic sentiments are not idealised, and may indeed be dark, ironic or self-aware. There are, of course, many other ways to characterise the relationship between the Golden Age and nostalgia, and the tension between the two can produce myths and romantic idylls, or, in religious terms, images of pre-lapsarian innocence, or dogmas relating to values associated with childhood. The Golden Age is also often used to refer to specific, respected periods of cultural production in all kinds of literature and visual media. Indeed, nearly every period, genre, nation, and cultural form has some kind of mythic, often illusory, Golden Age against which it is defined, and in which nostalgia often plays a part.

This collection interrogates the notion of the Golden Age and its connection to feelings of nostalgia from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives, with a strong focus on the relationship between word and image. It will interest scholars working on the subject of the Golden Age/nostalgia, particularly in English literature, film studies, comics studies, history, and the fine arts.

Elizabeth Rogers completed a PhD on Shakespeare’s history plays at the University of Dundee and was responsible for organising the conference ‘The Golden Age: Nostalgia in Word and Image’ (University of Dundee, 2012), which led to this publication.

Jeffrey W. Smith teaches English at the University of North Florida. He completed a PhD on the social and philosophical writings of 19th Century novelist and poet Gorge MacDonald at the University of Dundee. His previous publications explored Pre-Raphaelite imagery, British Romanticism, and Victorian social reform in MacDonald’s fiction.

Chris Murray is Senior Lecturer in Comics Studies at the University of Dundee and is Director of the Scottish Centre for Comics Studies and Dundee Comics Creative Space. He has published on the British superhero, comics and propaganda, and writers such as Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. He is co-editor of the journal Studies in Comics (Intellect) and UniVerse Comics.

Laura Findlay lectures in English and Film and the University of Dundee. Her research interests include the relationship between text, image and sound, as well as American literature, documentary, and oral history.

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Sarah Edwards

Emma Kennedy

Christopher Kyod

Caitlin McDonald

Chris Murray

Selma Purac

Jeffrey W. Smith

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ISBN: 1-4438-8906-7

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-8906-3

Release Date: 24th August 2016

Pages: 165

Price: £41.99