Good, Mad, or “Incurably Bad:” The Borders of Normalcy and Deviance in Film Representations of Sociopathic White Schoolgirls

  • Caroline Hamilton-McKenna University of British Columbia
  • Elizabeth Marshall Simon Fraser University
  • Theresa Rogers
Keywords: girlhood, normalcy, deviance, youth geography, violence, borders

Abstract

Through the lens of feminist cultural geography, the authors seek to understand how film and television depictions of the violent white schoolgirl across the idealized space of white suburbia temporarily disrupt but ultimately sustain the borders that define gender, youth, normalcy, and deviance. The authors analyze contemporary cinematic and televised dramas, including Peter Jackson’s 1994 film Heavenly Creatures, the 2018 HBO series Sharp Objects, and Cory Finley’s 2017 film Thoroughbreds to demonstrate how spatial dimensions of “deviant” white adolescent femininity enforce the boundaries of “normal” girlhood.

Author Biographies

Caroline Hamilton-McKenna, University of British Columbia

Caroline Hamilton-McKenna is a doctoral student in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Her research focuses on representations of space, place, and mobilities in contemporary young adult literature and the ways in which adolescent readers critically engage with these concepts through text and in their own lives.

Elizabeth Marshall, Simon Fraser University

Elizabeth Marshall is an Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University. Her research interests include children’s literature, life writing, picture books, graphic novels, and popular culture. Marshall is the co-editor of Rethinking Popular Culture and Education, author of Graphic Girlhoods: Visualizing Education and Violence, and co-author of Witnessing Girlhood: Toward and Intersectional Tradition of Life Writing

Theresa Rogers

Theresa Rogers is Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests include youth arts and media literacies, adolescent literature, and teacher education in literacy. She is the author of Youth, Critical literacies and Civic Engagement: Arts, Media and Literacy in the Lives of Adolescents and numerous articles in journals such as Children’s Literature in EducationPedagogies, Language Arts and Journal of Literacy Research.

Published
2020-02-12
How to Cite
Hamilton-McKenna, C., Marshall, E., & Rogers, T. (2020). Good, Mad, or “Incurably Bad:” The Borders of Normalcy and Deviance in Film Representations of Sociopathic White Schoolgirls. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 11(2), 247-273. Retrieved from http://jeunessejournal.ca/index.php/yptc/article/view/483
Section
Articles for Special Issue on Borders