Consuming Retrosexuality

Ruth McElroy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This paper seeks to identify some of the televisual and filmic sites for the making of retrosexualities, understood as depoliticising interventions in contemporary consumer culture. I begin by outlining competing definitions of retrosexuality, before offering a typology of screen-based retrosexualities across both dramatic and factual entertainment forms. Drawing upon the work of feminist scholars such as Arthurs (2003), Hollows (2003), Gill (2007; 2008), and McRobbie (2004; 2009), I argue that the nostalgic object has come to stand as the televiusal and filmic object of a stylised consumerist self-formation, offering modes of connection and commonality against difference. In particular, I am interested in the screen's capacity to animate self-reflexivity, not only through participants and actors, but through its own animated self-recollections, epitomised in the recent BBC Wales drama, Life on Mars and its sequel, Ashes to Ashes. Screen fantasies of the past - and their dramatisation of sexual relations - are then considered in both classroom and academic professional contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationN/A
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2008
Event Point of Feminism - University of Reading
Duration: 12 Sept 200812 Sept 2008


Conference Point of Feminism


  • (post)feminism and television
  • retrosexuality
  • life on mars; ashes to ashes


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