About the author: Phebe Davidson received her PhD from Rutgers University. She is currently G. L. Toole Professor of Literature at the University of South Carolina – Aiken. Earlier works published with Mellen include Film and Literature: Points of Intersection (1997); New Readings of Spiritual Narrative from the 15th to the 20th Century (1995) and Religious Impulse in Selected Autobiographies of American Women (1993), and several books of poetry.
2001 0-7734-7342-4 Six wide-ranging essays which track the evolving representation and understanding of stories and themes, an exercise in seeing where a particular idea, image, or sequence of events will lead. For example, Chapter One traces the evolution of the black/white masculine friendship pair from James Fenimore Cooper through Die Hard to The Green Mile. Chapter four discusses Thelma and Louise and Leaving Normal as complementary cultural texts which serve to extend gender definitions found in earlier American literature and which continue actively to engage men and women in American culture today.
“There’s nothing ordinary about Davidson’s always interesting insights throughout these six essays. . . . An engrossing, original look at film, energetic and lively. As a cultural observer, Davidson is sensitive and conscientious, and she reveals the American myths that both imprison and liberate.” – Book Reader
1997 0-7734-8612-7 This collection of essays explores the ways in which film and fiction share narrative and thematic material while serving as cultural texts. The collection is intended to reflect a broad spectrum of critical positions. Works include Last Exit to Brooklyn, Angel Heart, Frankenstein, Wise Blood, Rambling Rose, Smooth Talk, Trifles, The Glass Key, Catch 22, Forrest Gump, Silence of the Lambs, The Glass Key, Miller's Crossing. Topics include the social construction of character, underlying messages, the evolution of work from novel to film, ethics, women's studies.
1995 0-7734-8878-2 This volume offers an eclectic assortment of new readings of spiritual narrative, indicative of both the liveliness and breadth of current scholarly interest in spiritual narrative as a subject for serious intellectual discussion and exploration. What all of these essays have in common, aside from the rather broad subject designation of spiritual, is a recognition that spiritual narrative has almost always co-existed with its secular counterpart, often in the same text, and that it has served (and continues to serve) as the paradigm for narrative forms heretofore viewed in other contexts, whether as fiction, autobiography, or political tract. The complexity of vision offered in these readings is compelling and provocative.
1993 0-7734-9354-9 This study develops the theme of spiritual rhetoric as an important foundation of the American autobiographical tradition and the related idea that the marginalized voices of women and African-Americans worked to alter and redefine America's conception not only of autobiography but of self and gender. The redefinition process is illustrated through readings of texts ranging from Puritan conversion (Anne Bradstreet) through evangelical autobiography (African-American evangelist Amanda Berry Smith) and from Indian captivity narrative through the slave and ex-slave (post-bellum) narratives.