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Gender, Space, and the Gaze in Post-Haussmann Visual Culture : Beyond the Flâneur (Hardcover)
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The flâneur described in Charles Baudelaire’s ‘The Painter of Modern Life’ (1863) has become central to understandings of gender, space and the gaze in scholarship on the post-Haussmann period. Baudelaire’s privileged and leisurely hero of the Parisian boulevard is often the template by which bourgeois masculinity and, by implication, femininity is theorized. The flâneur has been especially significant for art historians who have seen the figure as an embodiment of creative masculinity, particularly in scholarship on Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas.
Relying on cultural studies, social history, urban studies and feminist theory, Gender, Space and the Gaze in Post-Haussmann Visual Culture: Rethinking Baudelaire's Flâneurcontends that the dominance of Baudelaire’s flâneur in theories of gender, space and the gaze is out of proportion with the figure’s relevance in understanding how these constructs were imagined in the late nineteenth century. The argument is supported by avant-garde and mainstream visual culture, art criticism, novels, prescriptive literature, architectural practices, interior design trends and fashion journals.
Balducci builds on previous scholarship that critiques the value of the flâneur paradigm, and its closely allied ideology of separate spheres, by offering a nuanced basis for considering gender, space and the gaze in the post-Haussmann period that will appeal to scholars across the humanities.