Tuesday, October 11, 2011
for the ladies
A short post, since I'm more than a little fried having read Bitchfest yesterday and The Body Project today. All these books about the female body (you'll remember that it hasn't been that long since I evangelized for The Beauty Myth and Backlash) are part of a burgeoning paper on image, body, and performance (could I be any more broad?!). The abstract is forthcoming, but I'll be using Wolf, Mulvey, Faludi, Butler, Foucault (duh), Virilio and everyone's favorite media studies prophet, Marshall McLuhan. Maybe even a few nuggets from Infinite Jest and All Things Shining. Some questions I am asking: What is the correlation between the shift from internal to external body and the omnipresence of the image? How is the eighteenth-century concept of the woman-as-consumer transformed in the twentieth and twenty-first century when everything from skin to hair to menstruation has become commodified? How has the advertising image replaced the mother as a figure of authority and specifically female knowledge? What is the effect of this? How does the modern American preoccupation with hygiene manifest itself in the treatment and socialization of women? What is the connection between technology, hygiene, efficiency and the body in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries? What are the specific implications for women? How has Foucault's concept of biopower been transfigured and translated in our contemporary moment?