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Cicely under the skin: female narrative and America's historical unconscious in Northern Exposure

McCabe, Janet E. (2006) Cicely under the skin: female narrative and America's historical unconscious in Northern Exposure. Critical studies in television, 1 (2). pp. 19-32. ISSN 1749-6020

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Abstract

Generic rules have changed and the dissident political voices of feminism and civil rights challenge white male authority to speak about the West. This contribution considers how women invert traditional western mythology, and give voice to an alternative and/or hidden history of the American frontier, to create new myths, new memories. Appearing at a moment when revisionist histographies speak of the Old West as about divergent historical realities, multiple frontiers and subsumed experiences, Northern Exposure contributing to challenging conventional wisdoms about gender segregation and frontier history. Policing the frontier and its history emerges as an important issue as does how women operate as stewards of frontier history, culture and tradition, to give voice to an alternative and repressed (female) history of the West.

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