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Karen Carpenter and the Body-Martyr in Queer Memory

Julian Binder

Abstract

There has been much thought given to role of the body as a site of political, physiological, and cultural negotiation. What place then does the beloved and astonishingly affective singer of 1970s soft-rock, Karen Carpenter, occupy in this weighty discourse? Karen's death from complications related to her eating disorder in 1983 shocked the public, eliciting a new wave of cultural consciousness about the embodied nature of mental illness. But beyond the stereotypical white suburban Carpenters fan, Karen and her story had already become a cult favorite amongst the queer avant-garde as soon as four years after death, a mysterious phenomenon that I argue is decidedly queer in its emotional trafficking of Karen's subjectivity, among other areas. This essay explores the ways in which our bodies double as cultural repositories, as hallowed sites of memory, and as icons of martyrdom with the capacity to emit a healing resonance analogous to their fabricated religious counterparts. I must admit, this paper might also be guilty of occasionally engaging in the typical essentializing tendency toward Karen's personhood. For her sake then, reader, I ask you to ponder the following question with the same aversion to neat finality that you apply to your own story as you flip the page: who really was Karen Carpenter?

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On Sinofuturism

Resisting Techno-Orientalism in Understanding Kuaishou, Douyin, and Chinese A.I.

Yunying Huang

Western techno-orientalist stereotypes of China that characterize China as “exotic, bizarre, tacky, and cheap.” Domestic Chinese media, by contrast, often figure China grandly as heroic, stable, and historic. In his video essay, Lek exposes key stereotypes

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Tru Leverette and Barbara Mennel

mixed-race cinema, including France's beur cinema, America's Blaxploitation films, and America's long-standing fascination with passing narratives and the tragic mulatto. Chapter 1 explores the tragic mulatto stereotype in American and French cinema

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Alexa, Affect, and the Algorithmic Imaginary

Addressing Privacy and Security Concerns Through Emotional Advertising

Linda Kopitz

interactions portrayed on the other hand. In previous research on interactions with chatbots, Sheryl Brahnam and Antonella De Angeli found that users “follow stereotypical gender patterns when conversing with chatterbots that present as either male or female

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Steven Eastwood

instead concentrated on embodiment, networks, relations, and patterns. Autism Defined Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder that affects the development of social and communication skills and is characterized by stereotyped patterns of

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Redefining Representation

Black Trans and Queer Women’s Digital Media Production

Moya Bailey

, their fears of discrimination are often validated. In a 2004 study, researchers identified nine ways that providers contributed to disparities in care. These included unintentionally relying on stereotypes about racial groups, particularly when pressed

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Minority Report

Perceptions and Realities of Black Men in Heterosexual Porn

Darryl L. Jones II

the activities for which they have been associated for centuries: loose sex in artistic forms. Amy Wilkins observes that “racialized gender stereotypes are a source of both status and stigma for Black men” (2012: 168). Throughout the world, men of

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Lowry Martin

tourism and migration, his narrative decenters stereotypical notions of Arabic masculinity such as marrying, financially supporting a family, and protecting the family's honor. In both the cinematic and novel form, Salvation Army recounts Taïa's quasi

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Linda Howell, Ryan Bell, Laura Helen Marks, Jennifer L. Lieberman, and Joseph Christopher Schaub

globally distributed by a subscription-based video-streaming service. It seems to demand a sophisticated awareness of the ways that these new modalities influence not just the production of stereotypes, but the complex new circumstances in which they

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Transitions Within Queer North African Cinema

Nouri Bouzid, Abdellah Taïa, and the Transnational Tourist

Walter S. Temple

problematic images associated with AIDS, prostitution, and gender stereotyping. 4 Further yet, these same films were in many ways haunted by a number of taboos imposed by a dominant and heteronormative film industry. One such example that comes to mind is the