Frame Frame

Anneloek Scholten & Max Casey | “The Singular Falls Continually”: Queer Bodies out of Time in Nightwood

32.2 Feminist Bodies
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Abstract This article argues that Djuna Barnes’ Nightwood (1936), despite partly subscribing to a Freudian model of homosexuality based on inversion, simultaneously demonstrates a concept of sexuality and identity that gestures outwards. Nightwood’s characters display excesses of meaning and are located outside of—rather than arrested in—linear heteronormative time. The novel’s sexual and identarian incoherencies create a sense of temporal dislocation and, in Barnes’ dense stylistics, characters that verge on linguistic illegibility. This article analyses the dynamics of (sexual) identity in the novel, and in doing so, attempts to highlight the potentialities of Nightwood for contemporary feminist and queer...

Laureanne Willems | Take Up Space/Know Your Place: On the Relationship Between Anorexia and Feminism

32.2 Feminist Bodies
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Abstract This paper takes Emma Woolf’s memoir An Apple a Day as a case study to look at the relationship between feminism and anorexia. Reading the memoir in this context lays bare the ways in which the feminist model fails to understand Woolf’s lived illness experience. Through looking at Woolf’s personal aetiology theory, the stigma around anorexia and mental illness, contemporary gender roles and beauty ideals, and conceptualisations of health and illness, it becomes clear that anorexia cannot be understood in a single interpretational framework. In her memoir, Woolf is speaking back to larger narratives about anorexia.* *The author explores the lived experience of anorexia in more detail in her MA thesis, which was awarded the UU Best Master’s Thesis Award...

Christina Crosby | Words Matter: Friendship, Grief, and Maggie Nelson’s Reckoning with Loss

32.2 Feminist Bodies
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Abstract In this essay, I explore how my friendship with the writer Maggie Nelson helped to sustain me in the two years immediately following a catastrophic accident that paralyzed me. In the years since, she has continued to help me reckon with profound loss, as her writing assures me that it is possible to represent both what has been lost and what remains. Odd as it may seem, of her many books, Jane: A Murder is the greatest comfort to me in its stark confrontation with irreparable loss and ongoing grief. Jane was her mother’s sister, killed before Maggie was...

Timothy C. Baker | Fear and Pity, Pity and Fear: Rereading Muriel Spark’s The Driver’s Seat in the Age of #MeToo

32.2 Feminist Bodies
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Abstract Muriel Spark’s The Driver’s Seat (1970) is often approached simply as a narrative puzzle. Examining it in relation to #MeToo rhetoric and recent work by feminist scholars including Kate Manne and Linda Martín Alcoff, as well as examining its unacknowledged inspiration from giallo films, provides an opportunity to reconsider Spark’s complicated portrayal of agency and bodily experience, especially as it is perceived in the classroom. Spark’s novel questions the possibility of writing female bodies in an age, and a form, that is dominated by misogynistic representations, and how the reception of such novels is often determined by cultural...

Emma Bond & Eleanor Crabtree | From Snap to Selfcare: Reading Feminism through Sara Ahmed and Phoebe Boswell

32.2 Feminist Bodies
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How can we bring two feminist bodies of work that operate through different media into meaningful conversation with one another? Using Fournier’s framework of autotheory, we work through this question by reading Sara Ahmed’s critical theory and Phoebe Boswell’s creative practice connectively, tracing intersectional feminist pedagogies and key concepts common to both as we go. Instead of applying critical theory to creative practices, we use creative practices as a tool to better understand how theory can be in ‘touch’ with the world. Co-writing this article is an initial step in seeking out the creative and embodied aspects of our own practice as feminist...

Eva-Lynn Jagoe | Delusional Girl: Genre and the Representation of Feminized and Feminist Subjectivity

32.2 Feminist Bodies
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Abstract This essay compares the feminized subjectivity and agency that is represented in Lena Dunham’s 2014 coming-of-age memoir, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s ‘Learned’, to the more complex depictions found in the dramatic comedy of her fictional show, Girls. In its production of a self who progresses towards self-knowledge, the memoir is inextricably shaped by the fantasies of neoliberal feminist individualism. In Girls, on the other hand, Dunham represents the contradictions of this kind of subject formation, thus exposing the frictions of contemporary liberal...

Tom Huisjes and Eline Reinhoud | The Parthenon of Books: Censorship through Blasphemy Laws

32.1 Religion and Secularism
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Abstract This article analyses Marta Minujín’s Parthenon of Books as it was realised during the Documenta 14 exhibition in Kassel, Germany (2017). Many of the books used to construct the Parthenon were banned by religious institutions, which raises the question of the role of blasphemy laws and blasphemy-related censorship in today’s Western democracies, as such laws limit the freedom of expression as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). We analyse how Minujín’s artwork contributes to existing campaigns for the abolition of blasphemy laws, arguing that while its message is not limited to blasphemy-related censorship, its critical stance towards religious censorship is an undertone that cannot be...

Jerrold Cuperus | Narrating Dutch Christianity: Secularism, Heritage, and Identity in Museum Catharijneconvent

32.1 Religion and Secularism
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Abstract This article analyzes how a Dutch museum for Christian heritage uses objects to construct narratives about the entanglements of Christianity and Dutch history. The exhibition “Christianity in the Netherlands” presents a specific postsecular narrative, which positions its audience in a political discourse that emphasizes the Christian tradition of the Netherlands, but is potentially exclusionary to part of its audience. This article analyzes the exhibition and argues that viewing practices, and the sacralization of art and heritage figure into the construction of a national Dutch identity which privileges a specific cultural form of...

Manav Ratti | ‘The God of the Imagination’: Postcolonial Postsecularism and Salman Rushdie’s The Ground Beneath Her Feet

32.1 Religion and Secularism
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Abstract Salman Rushdie’s novel The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1999) invokes religion and mythology in its representation of miracles, wonder, sorcery, revelations, infernos, frontiers, metamorphoses, and other worlds as it narrates the lives—across the United States, India, and Europe—of celebrated rock singers Ormus Cama and Vina Apsara. This article analyzes how Rushdie represents elements of secularism and religion in order to gesture toward and search for inspirational, generative, and creative potentials. I argue how Rushdie’s literary representation of secularism and religion is an expression of postcolonial postsecularism, as an imaginative possibility emerging from the historical conditions and contexts—across India and western Europe—of philosophical and political secularism, religious thought and practice, and...

Christopher Douglas | What Is Christian Postmodernism?

32.1 Religion and Secularism
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Abstract Christian Postmodernism is a rhetorical strategy of fundamentalist apologetics. It seeks to level the playing field of expert knowledge by developing institutions and networks of counter-expertise to produce uncertainty in fields such as evolution, Bible criticism, climate change, sex education, and others. This article analyzes a literary example of Christian Postmodernism, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’ famous Left Behind series, where characters must learn to read the Bible as fundamentalists do, for its ‘plain sense’ mapping of the End Times. Christian Postmodernism characterizes the epistemic crisis among U.S. conservatives today and was crucial to the election of Donald Trump in...