Tess, tourism, and the spectacle of the woman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


Jeff Nunokawa's chapter takes as its starting point the school of feminist psychoanalytic film theory founded by Laura Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," a school that collates the subjectivity and subjection of women with their status as the object of a masculine gaze. However, it moves beyond Mulvey by historicizing a particular instance of the psychoanalytic scenario which has proven central to feminist theory in recent years. Nunokawa argues that Hardy's novel not only ratifies the perennial stationing of the feminine spectacle as the site of masculine violence, but also suggests that the historical particularities arranging this spectacle may surprise us. Tess's "to-be-looked-at-ness" results, at least in part, from her location in a tourist fantasy: the "pretty face and shapely figure" are illuminated as inhabitants of a traveler's panorama, an exotic vision of rural England, and of "underdeveloped" regions beyond, a scopophiliac pastoral sustained both by nineteenth-century sightseer's handbooks, and by a novel informed by them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRewriting the Victorians
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, History, and the Politics of Gender
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780203120446
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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