New Book! Home Sweat Home: Perspectives on Housework and Modern Relationships


Home Sweat Home: Perspectives on Housework and Modern Relationshipsedited by Elizabeth Patton and Mimi Choi, was just published in late January. The collection explores the construction of women as homemakers and the erasure of household labor from the middle-class home in popular representations of housework. They concentrate on such matters as the impact of second-wave feminism on families and gender relations; of popular culture—especially in film, television, magazines, and advertising—on our views of what constitutes home life and gender relations; and of changing views of sexuality and masculinity within the domestic sphere.

Via labors and norms of cleaning, authors reveal how widespread the cultural image of “perfect” housewives and the invisibility of household labor were in the past and remain today.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1 – Kristi Branham
Hung Out to Dry: Laundry Advertising and the American Woman, 1890-1920

Chapter 2 – Nicola Goc
Snapshot Photography, Women’s Domestic Work and the “Kodak Moment” 1910s–60s

Chapter 3 – Hannah Swamidoss
From Chimney Sweeps to House Elves: Housework, Subject Formation, Agency, and British Children’s Fantasy Literature 1863-2007

Chapter 4 – Andrea Krafft
Appliance Reliance: Domestic Technologies and the Depersonalization of Housework in Postwar American Speculative Fiction

Chapter 5 – Nicole Williams Barnes
Making Easier the Lives of our Housewives: Visions of Domestic Technology in the Kitchen Debate

Chapter 6 – Kristi Rowan Humphreys
Supernatural Housework: Magic and Domesticity in 1960s Television

Chapter 7 – Mimi Choi
Every Day Should Be Like Sunny Weather: Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon Channel Carol Channing to Resolve the Politics of Housework for a New Generation of Parents

Chapter 8 – Elizabeth Patton
Spaces of Masculinity and Work: Bringing Men Back into the Domestic Sphere

Chapter 9 – Gust A. Yep and Ryan Lescure
Kauering “Home” in Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet

Chapter 10 – Nancy E. Bressler
Good Luck Raising the Modern Family: Analyzing Portrayals of Sexual Division of Labor and Socioeconomic Class on Family Sitcoms

Chapter 11 – Christopher Holliday
No Longer Whistling While You Work? Reanimating the Cult of Domesticity in The Incredibles

Chapter 12 – Rita M. Jones
I Couldn’t Do It without Her:  Big Love, Sister Wives, and Housework

1921: "The Correct Postures for Housework"

1921: “The Correct Postures for Housework”

Elizabeth Patton is program coordinator and full-time faculty in the Johns Hopkins University Masters in Communication program in Washington, D.C. She received her doctorate from the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. Her research includes media history; representations of gender, class, and race within mass media; and the impact of communication technology on space, family, and work-life balance.

Mimi Choi received her MA from Ryerson University’s Literatures of Modernity program in Toronto, Canada, after more than two decades of professional writing and editing in the financial, book, and magazine publishing industries. Her academic research encompasses the British and American novel, feminist theory and gender studies, and reception theory.