Body as Evidence: Mediating Race, Globalizing Gender by Janell Hobson

By Janell Hobson

Analyzes how race and gender intersect within the rhetoric and imagery of pop culture within the early twenty-first century.

In Body as Evidence, Janell Hobson demanding situations postmodernist dismissals of id politics and the delusional trust that the Millennial period displays a “postracial” and “postfeminist” global. Hobson issues to assorted examples in cultural narratives, which recommend that new media depend on outdated ideologies within the shaping of the physique politic.

Body as Evidence creates a theoretical mash-up of prose and poetry to light up the ways in which our bodies nonetheless subject as websites of political, cultural, and electronic resistance. It does so through studying a number of representations, from renowned exhibits like American Idol to public figures just like the Obamas to high-profile instances just like the Duke lacrosse rape scandal to present developments in electronic tradition. Hobson’s examine additionally discusses the ladies who've fueled and retooled twenty-first-century media to make feel of antiracist and feminist resistance. Her discussions comprise the electronica of Janelle Monáe, M.I.A., and Björk; the feminist movie odysseys of Wanuri Kahiu and Neloufer Pazira; and the embodied resistance came upon easily in elevating one’s voice in music, making a weblog, donning a veil, stripping bare, or planting a tree. Spinning wisdom out of this data overload, Hobson bargains a world black feminist meditation on how bodies mobilize, destabilize, and decolonize the meanings of race and gender in an more and more digitized and globalized world.

“By racializing the research of expertise, Janell Hobson brings to the vanguard a few extremely important concerns concerning the electronic divide. there's a tendency in a few components of academia to wholeheartedly rejoice new applied sciences with out giving sufficient proposal to how type, gender, race, and geographical divisions have an effect on either the creation and intake ends of the chain.” — Gail Dines, coeditor of Gender, Race, and sophistication in Media: A severe Reader, 3rd version

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Extra resources for Body as Evidence: Mediating Race, Globalizing Gender

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In fact, I would argue that the construction of “reality” vis‑à‑vis entertainment, regular Americanness, multiraciality, and myths of meritocracy and democracy—as offered through the spectacle of American Idol—encourages the belief that, if anyone could become the “next American Idol,” anyone could also become the “next American president,” thus enabling the kind of atmosphere that made it easier for Americans to vote for an African American man with a name that signals the dreaded Other, which we had come to identify in a post–September 11 “war on terror” world of immigrants, racial difference, gender norms and deviations, and global conflicts.

Ebert 2008) 21 22 Body as Evidence Ebert’s observation that Palin’s appeal relies on the same charisma as American Idol contestants is not necessarily revelatory. However, he has pinpointed a concern for how an image of “reality” has pitted ideals of ordinariness against values of exceptionalism. Both entities of the presidential election and the reality TV show are predicated on ideologies that we have learned to accept about our public figures—celebrities and political leaders—as well as on media manipulation of their image.

The wider context for “Single Ladies” are the dilemmas of the contemporary “single black female” in the United States, who is the least Understanding “The New Black” 45 likely of all adult American women to be married. From Terry McMillan’s Waiting to Exhale to Lisa Thompson’s off‑Broadway play, Single Black Female, to Helena Andrews’s Bitch Is the New Black (marketed as a black female version of Sex and the City) to the Queen Latifah–produced TV show taking its title from Beyoncé’s single, to the single status of high‑profile black women— including TV personality and mogul Oprah Winfrey and former secretary of state Condoleeza Rice—the specter of black “single ladies” had become hyper‑visible.

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