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American PietàsVisions of Race, Death, and the Maternal$
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Ruby C. Tapia

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816653102

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816653102.001.0001

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Beloved Therapies

Beloved Therapies

Oprah and the Hollywood Production of Maternal Horror

(p.67) Chapter 3 Beloved Therapies
American Pietàs

Ruby C. Tapia

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines the visual adaptation of Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved into the 1998 Hollywood film, exploring whether or not it can convey alternative experiences and meanings of the maternal within despite the racialized discursive terrains within which the construction and reception of its narrative occurs. It also assesses the maternal media persona of Oprah Winfrey and considers how her publicly granted titles, “America’s psychiatrist” and “The Conscience of Our Times,” impact the sentimental racial codes through which the film’s productions of history, memory, and motherhood are read.

Keywords:   Toni Morrison, Beloved, maternal, Oprah Winfrey, sentimental racial codes, motherhood

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