Last updated on: June 24, 2020
Li, Amy S. “Reconstructing the ’80s Man: Nostalgic Masculinities in Stranger Things.” Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media, vol. 31, Feb. 2019. https://refractory-journal.com/reconstructing-the-80s-man-nostalgic-masculinities-in-stranger-things
- Note: If at any point the official journal link to the publication becomes unavailable, the article is archived here on the Internet Archive (Wayback Machine)
Abstract: Stranger Things capitalizes on a recent revival of 80s pop culture, recycling aesthetics and cultural references of this bygone era. Looking backwards, however, provides opportunities for critical reflection, which Stranger Things demonstrates in its interrogation of traditional gender ideals. Netflix’s hit show revises the hard-headed, hard-bodied 80s man embodied by cultural icons like the Terminator and Rambo. It instead champions the father figure and the nerd, as represented by Chief Jim Hopper and the young boys Mike, Dustin, and Lucas, who reject macho individualism and instead celebrate collaboration with females, paving pathways for feminist heroes.
In contradistinction to reactionary politics of the Reagan era, Stranger Things thus applies a nostalgic approach to masculinity, hybridizing past masculine archetypes with contemporary feminist values. This “nostalgic masculinity” allows men with decidedly non-athletic “dad-bods” and young, unpopular nerds to become protagonists. Their admiration of women like Joyce Byers and Eleven delineate the heroes from the villains. In the case of the show’s gender representation, where conformity fails, stranger things prevail.
ECDS Blog Posts
You can view all of the blog posts I authored and published to the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) ScholarBlogs site at this link: https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/ecds/author/asli/
Dr. Amy S. Li, the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship Digital Humanities Fellow and Social Media Coordinator, reflects on the 2019-2020 Woodruff/ECDS Graduate Fellowship in the following blog post. She discusses digitizing punk zines from the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, working with open-access publishing as an editorial associate for Atlanta Studies, and managing the ECDS blog and social media accounts.
Blog post: https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/ecds/reflections-on-the-digital-humanities-fellowship-2019-2020/
The Emory Center for Digital Scholarship has collaborated with Sounding Spirit to launch their National Endowment for the Humanities-supported Digital Library, featuring songbooks and hymnals published across the US South from 1850 to 1925. Project director and editor-in-chief Jesse P. Karlsberg (Senior Digital Scholarship Strategist at ECDS) hopes that the digital library will increase the visibility of and engagement with significant songbooks that remain undervalued in the study of American sacred music.
The pilot library includes holdings from four partner archives: Pitts Theology Library at Emory University; The Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU); The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Archives and Special Collections; and the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music at University of Kentucky Libraries.
The Emory Center for Digital Scholarship is excited to announce the launch of an augmented reality (AR) app for the Atlanta History Center’s Battle of Atlanta Cyclorama exhibit. The AR app identifies and illustrates significant points-of-interests (POIs) embedded in the painting, providing more information on landmarks, people of interest, alterations to the painting, etc. The app is available for iOS and Android (links in blog post). You can read more about the app and its development on the ECDS blog.
Public Exhibitions and Scholarship
- “Building Emory’s African American Collections: Highlights from the Curatorial Career of Randall K. Burkett,” Exhibit Video, 9 Sept. 2018-3 Feb. 2019, Schatten Gallery, Robert W. Woodruff Library
- commissioned by Stuart A. Rose Library and Robert W. Woodruff Library Exhibitions Manager via Emory Center for Digital Scholarship