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“Undoing” Gender

Nexus of Complicity and Acts of Subversion in The Piano Teacher and Black Swan

Neha Arora and Stephan Resch

Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher (2001) and Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan (2010) are films about women directed by men. Both films unorthodoxly chart women artists’ struggle with the discipline imposed on them by the arts and by their live-in mothers. By portraying mothers as their daughters’ oppressors, both films disturb the naïve “women = victims and men = perpetrators” binary. Simultaneously, they deploy audiovisual violence to exhibit the violence of society’s gender and sexuality policy norms and use gender-coded romance narratives to subvert the same gender codes from within this gender discourse. Using Judith Butler’s and Michael Foucault’s theories, we argue that Haneke and Aronofsky “do” feminism unconventionally by exposing the nexus of women’s complicity with omnipresent societal power structures that safeguard gender norms. These films showcase women concurrently as victim-products and complicit partisans of socially constructed gender ideology to emphasize that this ideology can be destabilized only when women “do” their gender and sexuality differently through acts of subversion.

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Screening the Slob

Neoliberal Failure, Fatness, and Disability in “King-Size Homer”

Mackenzie Edwards

This article explores the archetype of the slob, narrowing in on its depiction in the episode “King-Size Homer” from The Simpsons (1989–), the long-running satirical animated series created by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, and Sam Simon. More than simply analyzing what constitutes the slob, this article focuses on how the slob operates. Attention is paid to the enmeshing of fatness and disability. The undercurrent of neoliberal ideology that runs through the episode is made apparent. The article works intersectionally to understand the slob as being someone who is abject in a multitude of ways. Finally, it considers the topic of disidentification and the possibilities that it opens up for a better analysis and understanding of the episode. And throughout the article, the key themes of failure and the pursuit of failure are explored.

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The (Pre)Posterity of Virgin Queen Iconography in Kapur’s Elizabeth Films

Evdokia Prassa

This article examines the quotations of Elizabeth I’s iconic portraiture as Virgin Queen in Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), and their effect on our a posteriori conceptualization of the depicted body of the female sovereign. Using Mieke Bal’s concept of preposterous history, I argue that Kapur’s transposition of Virgin Queen iconography onto celluloid results in a “(complex) text” that “is both a material object and an effect” (1999: 14). Bal acknowledges that the complexity that lies in the material results of the artistic quotation is not necessarily subversive, as it is dependent on the quoting artist’s ideological premise. Indeed, Kapur’s intermedial quotation of Elizabethan portraiture imbues the highly complex body of the female ruler with contemporary heteronormative notions of female sexuality, thereby reducing it to an object for the male gaze.

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An Otaku with Chinese Characteristics?

Localizing Japanese ACG Currents in Lu Yang's The Beast

Fred Shan

medium, style, or national culture, leading curator Barbara Pollack to ask: “how could this possibly be Chinese art” ( Pollack 2018: 2 )? To Pollack, Lu hails from a new generation born into a China keen to substitute ideological orthodoxy for market

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Passing for Children in Cate Shortland’s Lore

Andrew J. Webber

developmental stage which is especially subject, and susceptible, to identity formation and deformation under the pressures of social and political ideologies. These pressures are not least enacted upon and through the body, and embodied identity is put under

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Reviews

Tru Leverette and Barbara Mennel

cinematic representations of mixture as illustrative of social ideologies on race and nation. Analyzing over forty classic and contemporary American and French films, Asava studies national shifts in representing mixture that demonstrate social views on

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Looking for Something to Signify

Something to Signify Gender Performance and Cuban Masculinity in Viva

David Yagüe González

weak, we could include either the traditionally considered weaker sex or any other sexual minorities. In fact, according to González Pagés (2002) , machismo works very much like an ideology that, since the nineteenth century, has been passed on to male

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Monstrous Genres: Inverting the Romantic Poetics in Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl

Eliza Deac

page and the playfully impermanent (one might say impertinent) electronic text that is always (re)making itself anew” (166) is an instance of what he terms “medial ideology,” namely a reductive way of looking at electronic textuality. Among the

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Screened Bodies

Brian Bergen-Aurand

front of the screens. Perhaps, even, we could turn to W.J.T. Mitchell’s Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology (1986) and Picture Theory (1994) as crucial moves toward more nuanced descriptions of the complex, dynamic relation between images and observers

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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

performance through the blunt use of gallery metatexts as objects of contemplation. It deliberately misses the gallery—it is installed literally next door, sharing a wall with the gallery but in a space that is ideologically very different from an art gallery