Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Nation, Nostalgia and Masculinity: Clinton/Spielberg/Hanks

Brown, Molly Diane (2010) Nation, Nostalgia and Masculinity: Clinton/Spielberg/Hanks. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (1MB) | Preview


This dissertation focuses on masculinity in discourses of nostalgia and nation in popular films and texts of the late 20th century's millennial period—the "Bill Clinton years," from 1992-2001. As the 1990s progressed, masculinity crises and millennial anxieties intersected with an increasing fixation on nostalgic popular histories of World War II. The representative masculine figures proffered in Steven Spielberg films and Tom Hanks roles had critical relationships to cultural traumas surrounding race, reproduction and sexuality. Nostalgic narratives emerged as way to fortify the American nation-state and resolve its social problems. The WWII cultural trend, through the specter of tributes to a dying generation, used nostalgic texts and images to create imaginary American landscapes that centered as much on contemporary masculinity and the political and social perspective of the Boomer generation as it did on the prior one. The conceit of Clinton's masculinity is used as the figural link between the male bodies represented in such popular 1990s films as Amistad, Saving Private Ryan and The Green Mile. Additional chapters focus on Tom Hanks' star persona, the notion of boyhood, and the nexus between pop cultural imagery and representations of nostalgia.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Brown, Molly Dianemdbst62@pitt.eduMDBST62
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFischer, Lucylfischer@pitt.eduLFISCHER
Committee MemberLowenstein, Adamalowen@pitt.eduALOWEN
Committee MemberMalin, Brentbmalin@pitt.eduBMALIN
Committee MemberLandy, Marciamlandy@pitt.eduMLANDY
Date: 18 February 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 14 May 2009
Approval Date: 18 February 2010
Submission Date: 4 June 2009
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > English
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Apollo 13; Big; Bill Clinton; Boy Scouts; boyhood; lynching photography; Philadelphia; Sleepless in Seattle; The Man from Hope; Tom Hanks; You've Got Mail; Norman Rockwell; Steven Spielberg
Other ID:, etd-06042009-183445
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:46
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:44


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item