Guide Killing Women: The Visual Culture of Gender and Violence (Cultural Studies)

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Killing Women: The Visual Culture Of Gender And Violence by Susan Lord

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She has authored books on orientalism, immigration, and globalization. This Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality GCWS initiative, Feminisms Unbound, is an annual event series featuring debates that focus on feminist concerns, theories, and practices in this contemporary moment.

Ebook Killing Women: The Visual Culture Of Gender And Violence (Cultural Studies)

This series is intended to foster conversations and community among Boston-area feminist intellectuals and activists. The series, in its open configuration, endeavors to allow the greatest measure of engagement across multiple disciplinary trajectories, and a full array of feminist investments.


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Student Engagement. Faculty Engagement. Our History. Our Mission. Motherboard Prize. These associations have also instantiated the gendered dichotomy that links women and femininity to passivity, and men and masculinity to agency. When involved in political violence, women tend to be depoliticised by making their political goals invisible, often through the metanarrative of motherhood.

She identifies three main tropes: women as victims; women as heroes; and women as monsters.

Killing Women: The Visual Culture Of Gender And Violence

These signify female political agency in relation to motherhood and childlessness. The first two tropes respectively write women as passive and emotional, and protective and heroic mothers or potential wannabes. The second allows political violence on the grounds that women are naturally prone to protect or seek revenge for their harmed family. This casting of some women outside of the heteronormative framework that inscribes women as mothers and wives, marks them as abject and less human, features on the basis of which women are intelligible as life-takers.

Starting from these premises, the book sets out to explore the cultural representations of female political agency in order to provide a grammatical, rather than material, understanding of agency, that is, not why women choose to engage in political violence, but the dynamics of power that make the conditions for the intelligibility of agency. A note on agency is in order.

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The major concern with this conceptual approach is that it risks flattening subjectivities, and therefore missing agency altogether. Methodologically this is achieved with a grammatical method, whereby predication — or how nouns endow the subject with certain properties — presuppositions — or the taken for granted background against which a subject is constructed — and the subject-positioning — or how a subject is linked to other subjects and objects — construct reality.

Thus, within this type of analysis we have two subjectivities that are potentially flattened, that of the agent protagonist of story that is narrated, and that of the viewer.


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  • For, if the book is not concerned with how women are actually involved in political violence, neither with what viewers bring in when reading the cultural artefact, the referent of the grammatical approach is lost in the analysis, as it risks becoming self-referential. Visual culture is strictly intertwined with the politics of emotions and identification.