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Beholding Ourselves

Black Girls as Creators, Subjects, and Witnesses

Erin M. Stephens and Jamaica Gilmer

The bus was full of excited chatter as it pulled up in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (known universally as The Met) on Fifth Avenue on a cold morning in January. Thirteen girls, along with invited loved ones, had traveled for nine-and-a-half hours from Durham, NC, to view their art displayed in the exhibit, “Pens, Lens, and Soul: The Story of The Beautiful Project” (hereafter, “Pens, Lens, and Soul”). First, the girls filed off the bus to take a photograph on the steps of The Met. As their family and friends waited to disembark, they laughed and shivered while posing for numerous photographs and videos on the cold steps. As they stood at the bottom of the steps of the grand prestigious museum, the impressiveness of their accomplishment was just beginning to dawn on many of them. As she walked around the exhibit one of the artists would comment, “I feel surprised because I didn’t realize it was this big of a thing and I was here and it’s a thing, it’s a big thing … we are capable of doing anything.”

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Being Screens, Making Screens

Functions and Technical Objects

Mauro Carbone, Graziano Lingua, and Sarah De Sanctis

The present relations between screens and the human body invoke a genealogy that should help us to understand their status. However, we suggest that this historical-genealogical work shall be matched with a more comprehensive anthropology of screen experiences. By mobilizing the notion of “arche-screen,” we identify the transhistorical principle underlying such experiences with the showing/concealing and the exposing/protecting function pairs—the latter exceeding the visual dimension and involving our bodily relations with the environment. These function pairs, which are rooted in our body and make it into our proto-screen, can be enhanced via their externalization as appropriate technical objects. By highlighting the prostheticization of skin in some prehistoric artistic techniques and the role of the veil from the Old Testament to Leon Battista Alberti’s treatise On Painting, we stress that the interweaving of the above-mentioned screen functions is a constant feature of human experiences and that its thematic variations are traceable in more recent screen forms.

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Beyond Representation

Technofeminisms and the Promise of Computing for Girls

Amélie Lemieux

Kristine Blair. 2019. Technofeminist Storiographies: Women, Information Technology, and Cultural Representation.

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Bodies with Objects in Space through Screens

Casual Virtuality and the Self-Mediation of Laura Paolini’s Constraining Aesthetics

Jakub Zdebik

Constraining aesthetics are central to Laura Paolini’s artistic corpus, involving the relationship of her body to everyday objects in confined spaces during the time of the pandemic. Paolini creates a self-reflexive simulacrum of artistic experience of body, objects, and space through the interface of digital screens. This article seeks to elaborate how the elements of body, objects, and space in performance, video, and installation art are part of a screenic embodiment when read through the concepts of habit (Walter Benjamin), proprioception (Brian Massumi), allegory (Craig Owens), mediation (Fredric Jameson), and documentation (Amelia Jones).

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Breaching Flowery Borders

Early Twentieth Century Girls Scrapbooking Their Lives

Leslie Midkiff DeBauche

The American high school seniors I discuss in this article graduated between 1915 and 1922, tumultuous years that included World War I, the influenza pandemic of 1918 to 1919, and the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. During such extraordinary times, these girls did a most ordinary thing; they made scrapbooks to commemorate their high school years.

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The Discourse of Drama

Regulating Girls in an Icelandic School

Bergljót Thrastardóttir, Steinunn Helga Lárusdóttir, and Ingólfur Ásgeir Jóhannesson

In this article, we consider how girls are positioned in school by what we have chosen to call the discourse of drama. The widely held notion that Nordic girls have it all along with this drama discourse are seen to be the key narratives that reinforce a hegemonic form of girlhood. This ethnographic study focuses on the relations of students between the ages of 13 and 15 in the light of uninformed school staff-member practices. Our findings suggest that girls, despite living in what is seen to be a country that upholds gender equality, are silenced through this discourse of drama. We suggest that teacher education should lead to the facilitation of a gender-inclusive school environment free of stereotypical ideas of gender as a fixed binary.

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Editor's Introduction

Screening Transgression

Andrew J. Ball

The final issue of Screen Bodies Volume 6 offers readers an ideal combination of the diverse kinds of work we feature, from a macroscopic theory that proposes a new discipline, to a set of articles that rigorously examine a small number of artworks with respect to a shared topic, to a piece of curatorial criticism on a recent media arts exhibition. The articles collected here offer a fitting cross section of the topics and media we cover, discussing such varied subjects as prehistoric art, Pink Film, artificial intelligence, and video art.

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Embodied Liberation

The Female Reception of Oshima Nagisa’s International Co-Productions

Yuta Kaminishi

Oshima Nagisa’s international co-productions, which include the pornographic film In the Realm of the Senses and the war drama with homoerotic themes Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, were noted as the emergence of his female audience. How did this reported demographic change of the audience from male-centered to female-oriented relate to sexualized bodies on screen? In their roundtable discussion about sexual liberation, feminists found emancipatory power from patriarchal society in the face of the actor who played Abe Sada. Girls praised queerness that disrupted heteronormativity in David Bowie’s performance in their film reviews. Focusing on the reception of the films within feminists’ discourse and girls’ culture, this article argues that the female audience created political significance of the films by interpreting the bodies as embodied liberation.

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The End of the Tunnel

Girls’ Marked Bodies in the Canadian Transcarceral Pipeline

Sandrina de Finney and Mandeep Kaur Mucina

In settler states, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) girls and young women are targeted for specific kinds of social service interventions embedded in the gendered genocidal logics of colonial ideologies. Interlocking forms of violent carceral capture operate across settler institutions such as child welfare, immigration, and justice systems that are tasked with policing and criminalizing nonwhite girls. Conceptualizing these interconnected systems as a transcarceral pipeline, we examine their inner workings and impacts on Indigenous girls and BIPOC refugee girls in Canada through two sites of inquiry: child welfare systems targeting Indigenous girls and young mothers; and the immigration-child-welfare pipeline for refugee girls of color. Our analysis stresses the urgency of anticolonial systems of care grounded in sovereignty-making collective relations.

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Shailendra Kumar Singh

In this article, I examine the discursive portrayals of gendered experience and subject positions through Sarjita Jain’s “Girliyapa,” an online entertainment channel (on YouTube) for female-oriented content in India. I demonstrate how the question of female pleasure that the channel repeatedly foregrounds by way of introducing relatively censored topics of discussion (such as girls buying condoms or articulating their orientation toward same-sex love) is inextricably intertwined with a gender politics that never turns a blind eye to the existing conventions, stereotypes, or structural inequalities that precipitate gender-based violence and discrimination throughout the country. The widespread prevalence of marital rape, color prejudice, and workplace sexism which, in turn, does not allow for a straightforward valorization of girl power is thus satirically interrogated by “Girliyapa.”