Disenfranchised Bodies: Jyotirmoyee Devi’s Writings on the Partition

Dec. 1, 2003

Introduction [1] Drawing upon oral histories and official records, recent feminist studies by Ritu Menon, Kamla Bhasin, Urvashi Butalia, and Veena Das document Hindu and Sikh families’ and communities’ refusal to accept women subjected to sexual violence in the riots that accompanied the Partition of British India in 1947. Contextualizing...

Utopia and Castration: How to Read the History of Homosexuality

Nov. 1, 2003

[1] For more than twenty years now, as I’m sure you know, scholars, theorists, and historians of sexuality have been engaged in a heated debate over the relationship between homosexuality, history, and society. Commonly referred to as the essentialist/constructionist debate, the controversy has centered around whether modern conceptions of homosexual...

Smoke and Mirrors: Feminism, Figurality, and “The Vine-Leaf”

Oct. 1, 2003

If one wishes to deceive a man, what one presents to him is the painting of a veil, that is to say, something that incites him to ask what is behind it. –Jacques Lacan, “What Is a Picture?” Ignorance, far more than knowledge, is what can never be taken for...

Elaine de Kooning, Portraiture, and the Politics of Sexuality

Sept. 1, 2003

[1] In the 1950s, Elaine de Kooning used the Abstract Expressionist style of “action painting” to create sexually- charged images of men. For example, in Fairfield Porter #1, 1954, de Kooning pushes the seated faceless figure to the foreground, confronting the viewer with his open-legged stance; an invitation to visually...

Rhetoric of the Medical Management of Intersexed Children: New insights into “Disease”, “Curing”, “Illness” and “Healing”

Aug. 15, 2003

Introduction [1] What happens when a child is born, and the attending physicians look to declare, Its a boy! or Its a girl!, but cannot clearly decide? What happens when a girl at 18 still has not reached menarche, and after a bit of research, it is discovered that she...

Scream, Popular Culture, and Feminism’s Third Wave: “I’m Not My Mother”

Aug. 1, 2003

“Popular culture is the politics of the 21 st Century” Gale Weathers, Scream 3 1] The 1990s might well be remembered as the decade of Girl Culture and Girl Power. New phrases began sounding in the air and new images surfacing in our media, changing the face of popular culture...

Stage Door Jennies: Brett Farmer interviews Stacy Wolf about her New Book, A Problem Like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical.

July 2, 2003

[1] Farmer: The affinities between gay male cultures and the Broadway musical are so widely acknowledged that, in popular imaginings, one has become all but indexical of the other. The primary objective—and, in so small measure, the value—of your book, A Problem Like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American...

Editorial Page: The Current Political Climate by Members of the Editorial Board

June 1, 2003

Gender and the American Ideology of War [1] At the huge peace demonstration in London on February 15, one of the larger signs appropriately urged, “Stop Mad Cowboy Disease!” Both liberals and leftists in the U.S. have had difficulty in believing that a much-discredited American film genre, the Western, could...

Clarence Holbrook Carter’s War Bride and the Machine/Woman Fantasy

May 1, 2003

Dynamos are women Round with the first sweet swelling Of a new mother’s milk. — Macknight Black, “New Mother,” 1929 [1] In 1940, Clarence Holbrook Carter produced a painting that disturbed him. In fact, War Bride (figure 1) was so unlike his previous work that he was reluctant to exhibit...

Multiplicity and Its Discontents: Feminist Narratives of Transnational Belonging

April 1, 2003

Introduction [1] Both the movements and the settlements of the tremendous populations who live outside their country of origin, estimated at 150 million, have been of worldwide concern, as displaced groups exert striking influence well beyond their numbers on the identities, economies, and politics of nation-states. Within the expanded body...

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