Growing old is hard enough without a cadre of pedagogues telling you what it means.
“Critical aging does not toss the baby out with its ideological bathwater,” LaSalle professor Emily Mattingly said at this year’s Modern Language Association (MLA) meeting in Austin, Texas. “Critical aging lifts the hood on dominance.”
At the MLA, Mattingly used Shelley Jackson’s hypertext Patchwork Girl to get under the hood. “What if Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein were true?” the ad for Patchwork Girl asks. “What if Mary Shelley herself made the monster — not the fictional Dr. Frankenstein?”
“And what if the monster was a woman, and fell in love with Mary Shelley, and travelled to America? This is their story.” And it gets quite gory: There may be more blood in this one than in the original Frankenstein.
Mattingly is “currently working on my first book project, Queer Developments: The Politics of Reimagining Age,” she writes on her home page.
“This monograph examines how American artists, writers, and filmmakers reimagine childhood to construct new visions of aging,” she explains.
She teaches cultural and literary studies, film and media, and research courses at La Salle and also directs the Writing Center at the Delaware College of Art and Design.
Photo by twm1340