Outlander’s Sassenachs

Essays on Gender, Race, Orientation and the Other in the Novels and Television Series


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About the Book

A time travel epic featuring history and romance, Outlander—unlike most adventure series—is aimed at women audiences. The kilted male characters, the female narrator, the fantastic period costumes are atypical of male-gendered television. Both the show and the novels on which it is based address issues most series shy away from, like breast feeding, abortion and birth control. Role reversals are common—the powerful Claire rescues her virginal husband Jamie from sexual abuse. When the villainous Black Jack Randall displays his genitals to the heroine Jenny, she laughs.
This collection of new essays examines Outlander as an exploration of what it means to be a capable 18th century woman and what it means in the modern world. As Claire explores different models of strength in both periods, Jamie comes to understand the nuances of male honor, power and alternative sexuality through the contrasting figures of Black Jack and Lord John. As the heroes negotiate the complications of marriage and life, they make discoveries about gender that resonate with modern audiences.

About the Author(s)

Valerie Estelle Frankel teaches English at Mission College and San Jose City College. The author of 90 popular culture books and more than 100 stories and essays, she lives in Sunnyvale, California.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Valerie Estelle Frankel
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 172
Bibliographic Info: appendices, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6424-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2665-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Part I: Questions of Diversity
Privilege and Pity: Jamie on Slavery, Racism and Disability (Valerie Estelle Frankel) 5
Culloden and Wounded Knee: Genocide, Identity and Cultural Survival
(Sandi Solis) 17
Claire Kens Well: Appropriation and Itinerant Performance in Outlander Onscreen (Elizabeth Elaine Tavares) 31
Part II: ­Eighteenth-Century Masculinity
Gazing at Jamie Fraser (Araceli R. Lopez) 44
Jamie’s “Others”: Complicating Masculinity and Heroism Through His Foils (Jennifer Phillips) 54
Being Lord John: Homosexual Life in Georgian London (Valerie Estelle Frankel) 68
Part III: Women’s Choice for Time Travelers
Men, Women and Birth Control in the Early Outlander Books (Nicole M. duPlessis) 82
The Beaton: Healing as Empowerment for Claire Beauchamp (Sarah Stegall) 97
Part IV: Claire as Feminist, Postfeminist, ­Anti-Feminist
Reviewing Linear Time: History Repeating All Over Again (Now, Against You) (Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns and Leonardo G.A. Lando) 105
The Way We Were: Nostalgia, Romance and ­Anti-Feminism (Victoria Kennedy) 117
Outlander from Book to Screen: Power in Gender and Orientation (Yvonne D. Leach) 130
Appendix A: Book Reading Order 153
Appendix B: Television Episode Guide 155
Appendix C: Television Cast 157
About the Contributors 159
Index 161