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(Para)normalizing Rape Culture

Possession as Rape in Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Annika Herb

Abstract

Contemporary Young Adult literature is a favored genre for exploring sexual assault, yet rarely interrogates the social structures underpinning rape culture. In its representation of heterosexual relationships, Young Adult paranormal romance offers insight into the processes and structures that uphold rape culture. Genre tropes normalize abusive behavior and gender ideals, demonstrating the explicit and implicit construction of rape culture, culminating in the depiction of supernatural possession analogous to rape. Here, I reflect on power, control, rape culture, and girlhood in a textual analysis of Nina Malkin's Swoon, Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush, and Sarah Rees Brennan's The Demon's Covenant. A constructive reading reflects implicit cultural discourses presented to the girl reader, who can apply this to her own negotiation of girlhood.

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Katy Lewis

Gilmore, Leigh, and Elizabeth Marshall. 2019. Witnessing Girlhood: Toward an Intersectional Tradition of Life Writing. New York: Fordham University Press.

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The Saint Mary's Rape Chant

A Discourse Analysis of Media Coverage

Lyndsay Anderson and Marnina Gonick

Abstract

In September 2013 student leaders at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, used a chant about the rape of underage girls as part of an Orientation Week activity for new students. The incident garnered national and international media coverage. In this article, we analyze and critique a selection of Canadian media articles published in the weeks after the rape chant was used. We draw on feminist analysis of post-feminism and the sexualization of youth cultures to show how, in their struggle to make sense of the incident, the media critique reiterates harmful discourses of youth, gender and sexuality while undermining deeper understanding of rape culture.

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Sexual Abuse of Girls in Post-Revolutionary Mexico

Between Legitimation and Punishment

Susana Sosenski

Abstract

In this article, I analyze certain ideas circulating in early twentieth-century Mexico about the sexual abuse of young and adolescent girls, and how ideas about the prohibited, permitted, or legitimate uses of their bodies were sustained by complex webs of corruption and injustice. Not only criminals but also families, lawyers, judges, and police officers commonly considered the bodies of young girls from working-class families as legitimate spaces of sexual violence. Some newspapers also propagated this idea. Prevailing notions about the gender and sexuality of young and adolescent girls fed into family-based concepts of honor and chastity that were reproduced in practices and narratives related to the abuse of children's bodies, and this contributed to the perpetuation of a rape culture among Mexicans.

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“Speak with Girls, Not for Them”

Supporting Girls’ Action Against Rape Culture

Alexe Bernier and Sarah Winstanley

Abstract

Reflecting on our work with girls, we discuss what we have learned about how they experience rape culture and engage in activism to confront it. We explore how rape culture manifests in the lives of adolescent girls who are between 10 and 15 years of age in Calgary, Canada. We then demonstrate how groups of girls have moved from awareness to collective action meant to challenge rape culture and consider the impact that this action has had on them. Our aim is to show how popular education and feminist methodologies are effective in supporting girls’ activism on issues like rape culture so that others working in community with girls may gain new tools that might aid their work.

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“Banal Apocalypse”

An Interview with Author Ta-wei Chi on the New Translation of The Membranes

Jane Chi Hyun Park and Ta-wei Chi

Abstract

This interview is based on a series of email exchanges in November 2019 between Taiwanese writer and scholar Ta-wei Chi and Korean American scholar Jane Chi Hyun Park about Chi's queer speculative novella, The Membranes. The first section provides a summary of the novella, which was recently translated into English by Ari Heinrich. The second section paints a picture in broad brush strokes of the contexts in which Chi wrote The Membranes—taking into consideration key cross-cultural influences and critical reception in Taiwan in the 1990s. It also examines the cultural and political relevance of Chi's creative predictions about the future within the present historical moment. Finally, it explores afterlives for the novella in the form of sequels and possible cinematic adaptations.

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Andrew J. Ball

I am pleased to begin the final issue of the year with a very special announcement. Screen Bodies is modifying its editorial direction and the kind of work it will feature. Many of our readers will already have a sense of these changes, made evident by the new Aims and Scope section we made available online earlier this summer, and by the journal's new subtitle, The Journal of Embodiment, Media Arts, and Technology. As these indicate, the foundational commitments of the journal remain unchanged; however, moving forward will we intensify our focus on new media art, technology studies, and the interface of the sciences and the humanities. We will continue to examine the cultural, aesthetic, ethical, and political dimensions of emerging technologies, but with a renewed attention to such areas as intermediality, human–machine interface, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, generative art, smart environments, immersive and interactive installations, machine learning, biotechnology, computer science, digital culture, and digital humanities. The journal will continue to prioritize matters of the body and screen media, both in terms of representation and engagement, but will emphasize research that critically reexamines those very concepts, as, for example, in the case of object-oriented feminism's nonanthropocentric approach, which asks us to rethink what we mean by bodies and embodiment.

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Ghostly Presences OUT THERE

Transgender Girls and Their Families in the Time of COVID

Sally Campbell Galman

Meet Lily: Hi! I'm Lily. I'm 12 years old and I'm going into junior high school next year. I have curly black hair like my dad and green eyes like my mom. It's been 170 days since school and life and shops and stuff all shut down and my little sister Chloe and I really REALLY want COVID to be over. We play dolls and read and go for walks but I also spend a lot of time online texting and stuff with my friends.

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The Girlhood Project

Pivoting our Model with Girls During COVID-19

Cheryl Weiner, Kathryn Van Demark, Sarah Doyle, Jocelyn Martinez, Fia Walklet, and Amy Rutstein-Riley

Abstract

The Girlhood Project (TGP) is a community based, service-learning/research program that is part of the undergraduate course at Lesley University called “Girlhood, Identity and Girl Culture.” TGP works with community partners to bring middle and high school girls to Lesley's campus for nine weeks as part of intergenerational girls’ groups that are co-facilitated by Lesley students (also referred to as TGP students). TGP fosters the development of feminist leadership, critical consciousness, voice, and community action, and activism in all participants. In this article, we describe how we adapted TGP's model to a virtual and synchronous platform for students during COVID-19 and supported their learning competencies. We reflect critically on this experience by centering the voices and perspectives of girls, students, and professors.

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Jennifer A. Thompson, Sarah L. Fraser, Rocio Macabena Perez, Charlotte Paquette, and Katherine L. Frohlich

Abstract

In this article, we feature photographs and cellphilms produced by 13 girls and young women (aged 13 to 19) from urban, rural, and Indigenous areas of Quebec, Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. Framed within girls’ studies, we present girls’ and young women's creations and co-analysis about wellbeing during a period of lockdown. We explore how girls and young women restructured their routines at home as well as negotiated motivation and the pressure to be productive. We note that girls had more time than usual for creative activities and self-discovery and that they engaged with the politics of the pandemic and advocated for collective forms of wellbeing. Importantly, girls reported that participating in this research improved their wellbeing during this lockdown.