Freedom of Expression: An Essay on Rights, Relation and Recognition

Dec. 1, 1998

(Note: This essay is a shorter version …)* [1] In January 1995, a University of Michigan sophomore known as Jake Baker posted a short story to an Internet site devoted to explicit fiction.[1] In January 1995, a University of Michigan sophomore known as Jake Baker posted a short story to...

Tropical Rearwindow: Gauguin’s Manao Tupapau and Primitivist Ambivalence

Nov. 1, 1998

I'm not much on rearwindow ethics" –Grace Kelly, responding to Jimmy Stewart's belated ethical/optical crisis, in Hitchcock's Rear Window Sadistic Gaze [1] Two recent and influential feminist discussions of Paul Gauguin's Pacific oeuvre have no time for ambivalence when it comes to analysing Gauguin's imbrication in the aesthetic practices and...

Watch Yourself: Performance, Sexual Difference, and National Identity in the Irish Plays of Frank McGuinness

Oct. 1, 1998

[1] Recently, on an electronic discussion list operated by the American Conference for Irish Studies, one of the members posted a request for information on "the alleged homosexuality of Michael Collins," one of the primary leaders of the Irish struggle for independence in the early twentieth century and a major...

Las Comadres: A Feminist Collective Negotiates a New Paradigm for Women at the U.S./Mexico Border

Sept. 1, 1998

[1] In the Spring of 1988 a group of women in the contiguous border cities of San Diego and Tijuana established a collective to which they later gave the name Las Comadres. 1 For three years they met at venues on both sides of the border, exploring its complexity from...

Inspectin’ and Collecting: The Scene of Carl Van Vechten

Aug. 1, 1998

[1] Avant-garde chronicler, arbiter, and participant Carl Van Vechten produced myriad texts during a career deeply imbricated in those issues of race, gender, class, and sexuality that continue to complicate critical understanding of the early twentieth-century avant-garde. Replete with nested voyeurisms and repetitions from novel to scrapbook to photograph, Van...

Feminine Intensities: Soap Opera Viewing as a Technology of Gender

July 25, 1998

[1] I really like to watch soap operas. As a self-respecting feminist academic, I realize I am supposed to be ashamed to say so, but for reasons I hope this essay will make clear, I am saying so at once. I am not using "soap opera," as do many scholars,...

“O, Soften him! or harden me!”: Childbirth, Torture, and Technology in Richardson’s Pamela

July 15, 1998

"But don't you wonder to find me scribble so much about family and birth?" –Pamela Andrews, in a letter to her parents Scribbling about childbirth [1] In The London Hanged, a painstaking catalogue of eighteenth-century juridical practice, Peter Linebaugh briefly laments the absence of equivalent work on childbearing of the...

Afghanistan’s Forgotten Women: News and commentary.

July 5, 1998

Updated 1/4/1999 [2] The 1 1/2 million Hazaras, Shi’ites in a Sunni country, Mongols among Indo-European tribes like the Pushtuns who make up 99% of Taleban’s core membership, were the last bastion of women’s rights in the country. Among the Hazaras you found women officials, teachers, doctors, medics, even soldiers;...

Stricken Deer: Secrecy, Homophobia, and the Rise of the Suburban Man

June 1, 1998

Deviance versus Distinction (1) The emergence of a suburban role for men during the first half of the nineteenth century in Great Britain gave homophobia a new and potent role as part of middle-class masculinity. The century as a whole witnessed a marked increase in the systematic surveillance and persecution...

Picturizing Race: Hollywood’s Censorship of Miscegenation and Production of Racial Visibility through Imitation of Life

May 1, 1998

"A Case Very Near the Borderline" (1) Hollywood's Production Code explicitly banned "miscegenation" from the American screen for nearly thirty years. 1 The files of the Production Code Administration (PCA) which document the interpretation of that ban, however, demonstrate the PCA censors' utter confusion as to the meaning of the...

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