Embodied Politics in Visual Autobiography

Embodied Politics in Visual Autobiography


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From reality television to film, performance, and video art, autobiography is everywhere in today’s image-obsessed age. With contributions by both artists and scholars, Embodied Politics in Visual Autobiography is a unique examination of visual autobiography’s involvement in the global cultural politics of health, disability, and the body. This provocative collection looks at images of selfhood and embodiment in a variety of media and with a particular focus on bodily identities and practices that challenge the norm: a pregnant man in cyberspace, a fat activist performance troupe, indigenous artists intervening in museums, transnational selves who connect disability to war, and many more.

The chapters in Embodied Politics in Visual Autobiography reflect several different theoretical approaches but share a common concern with the ways in which visual culture can generate resistance, critique, and creative interventions. With contributions that investigate digital media, installation art, graphic memoir, performance, film, reality television, photography, and video art, the collection offers a wide-ranging critical account of what is clearly becoming one of the most important issues in contemporary culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442646605
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 10/08/2014
Series: Cultural Spaces Series
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.36(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.06(d)

About the Author

Sarah Brophy is an associate professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University.

Janice Hladki is an associate professor of Theatre and Film Studies in the School of the Arts at McMaster University.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction. Visual Autobiography in the Frame: Critical Embodiment and Cultural Pedagogy (Sarah Brophy and Janice Hladki)

I: Proliferating Monstrosity
2. Quickening Paternity: Cyberspace, Surveillance, and the Performance of Male Pregnancy (Sayantani DasGupta)

3. “Virtual” Autobiography? Anorexia, Obsession, and Calvin Klein (Mebbie Bell)

4. Big Judy: Fatness, Shame, and the Hybrid Autobiography (Allyson Mitchell)

II: Rupture and Recognition: Body Re-Formations
5. Sex Traitors: Autoethnography by Straight Men (Richard Fung)

6. Looks Can Be Deceiving: Exploring Transsexual Body Alchemy through a Neoliberal Lens (Dan Irving)

7. Visceral (Auto)biographies: Plastic Surgery and Gender in Reality TV (Simon Strick)

III: Interior Lives: Conditions of Persistence and Survival
8. My Life as a Museum, or, Performing Indigenous Epistemologies (Peter Morin)

9. Gut Reactions: Mona Hatoum’s Corps étranger (Kim Sawchuk)

10. “Please Don’t Let Me Be Like This!”: Un-wounding Photographic Representations by Persons with Intellectual Disability (Ann Fudge Schormans and Adrienne Chambon)

11. “Why should our bodies end at the skin?” Cancer Pathography, Comics, and Embodiment (Laura McGavin)

IV: Spectatorship and Historical Memory: The Ethics of Critical Embodiment

12. Witnessing Genocide and the Challenges of Ethical Spectatorship (Wendy Kozol)

13. Digital Melancholia: Archived Bodies in Carmin Karasic’s With Liberty and Justice for All (Sheila Petty)

14. Connective Tissue: Summoning the Spectator to Visual Autobiography (Sarah Brophy and Janice Hladki)


Notes on Contributors

What People are Saying About This

Sidonie Smith

“The essays in this collection engage with important questions in a set of intersecting fields – autobiography studies, new materialist analyses, studies in visuality, and studies of bodies and embodiment.”

Julie Rak

“What an ambitious and absorbing book about autobiography and the visual! This collection of provocative essays offers a range of responses to the problem of visualizations of selfhood.”

Customer Reviews