Mammographies: The Cultural Discourses of Breast Cancer by Mary K. DeShazer

By Mary K. DeShazer

Whereas breast melanoma maintains to impact the lives of hundreds of thousands, modern writers and artists have answered to the ravages of the sickness in artistic expression. Mary okay. DeShazer’s ebook seems to be particularly at breast melanoma memoirs and photographic narratives, a class she refers to as mammographies, signifying either the imaging know-how during which such a lot Western ladies realize they've got this illness and the documentary imperatives that force their written and visible debts of it. Mammographies argues that breast melanoma narratives of the prior ten years fluctuate from their predecessors of their daring handle of formerly missed issues resembling the hyperlink among melanoma and environmental cancer agents, the ethics and efficacy of genetic trying out and prophylactic mastectomy, and the moving politics of prosthesis and reconstruction.

Mammographies is precise between experiences of up to date disorder narratives in its specific specialize in breast melanoma, its research of either memoirs and photographic texts, its realization to hybrid and collaborative narratives, and its emphasis on ecological, genetic, transnational, queer, and anti-pink discourses. DeShazer’s methodology—best characterised as literary severe, feminist, and interdisciplinary—includes targeted interpretation of the narrative concepts, thematic contours, and visible imagery of a variety of modern breast melanoma memoirs and photographic anthologies. the writer explores the ways that the narratives represent a particular testimonial and memorial culture, a declare supported by way of shut readings and theoretical research that demonstrates how those narratives query hegemonic cultural discourses, empower reader-viewers as empathic witnesses, and supply communal websites for mourning, resisting, and remembering.

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Additional info for Mammographies: The Cultural Discourses of Breast Cancer Narratives

Sample text

Being ill can make you sicker than cancer. Illness is lonely, all the more so because it affords you no solitude. The so-­called private pain of illness is in fact an observed, calibrated, measured, unremittingly public space. (236) In this passage Lord theorizes illness as a vexed identity marker and medicalization as invasive technologized terrain. These insights were possible only through the invention of H as doppelganger, she concludes—­a figure that served not only as her creator’s alter ego but also as “a narrative device, a means to tell a story, a tool” (237).

Courtesy of the artist. the surgeon’s refusal to accept her decision to reduce her breasts rather than augment them. “Nobody had warned me how painful expanders could be,” she explains; “it was like medieval torture every week, it was as if the screws were being turned tighter and tighter” (np). Furthermore, her breast surgeon was willing to implant only large breast expanders; when Kohlman objected that all along she had requested size 32B, she was informed that “the teardrop shape, smaller implants are not avail- Postmillennial Breast Cancer Photo-­narratives 35 able in this country” (np).

They theorize the politics of appearance in breast cancer culture by questioning the emphasis on prosthesis, reconstruction, and hegemonic femininity. 5. They queer breast cancer by affirming lesbian or butch embodiment and resisting heterosexist assumptions that mainstream culture promulgates. 6. They assume antiracist and transnational perspectives in their analysis of breast cancer treatment and politics. In the sections that follow I review Lorde’s insights in The Cancer Journals and A Burst of Light and explore the ways in which her successors build upon her theories.

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