Critique of Sex/Gender Dichotomy and Representation of Intersexuality in Films XXY and El último verano de la boyita
Summary / Abstract: This paper deals with the issue of representation of intersex non-normative bodies and identities in the area of film. That also encompasses the process of re-evaluation of binary categories of sex/gender and their limits through fictional film narratives about intersexuality, starting from the understanding of the representation as a meaning production strategy and analyses of discourse factors which regulate the dominant interpretation of sex, gender and Subject, and, finally, their deconstruction from the perspective of gender theories. The aim of this paper is to evaluate how is possible to conceptualize different approaches to representation of intersexuality and establish a critique of gender/sex dichotomy and violence it produces through re-thinking of established categories of gender and sex, from the perspective of various gender and film theories, as well as what various representation strategies of non-normative bodies implicate. In that context, I shall present my analysis and interpretation of films XXY (2007) and El último verano de la boyita (2009), while considering various discourse formations which, in given contexts, shape dominant understanding of sex/gender and intersexuality as well as narratives of two films. These films present some of the first, rare and important accomplishments which undertake different approaches to issues of representation of intersexuality, through which fictional narratives, potentials of intervention within dominant discourse of non-normative bodies are re-thought, i.e., the potentials of redefining and decentring of the established norms of sex/gender.
Feminist Iranian Cinema: The Counter-Cinema of Abbas Kiarostami and Female Spectatorship
Summary / Abstract: The quintessential characteristic of Iranian art fi lm is its heavy politicization, achieved by addressing social and women’s issues. Stylistically, infl uenced by distinctive Persian literary tradition, New Iranian Cinema is known for blurring lines between documentary and fiction, thus exploring new film forms and genres. This paper primarily calls into question the veiling discourse and censorship of Islamic government as an unsuspecting instrument of enhancing the authentic style of film authors, aft er which it continues with an examination of the role of aesthetics in terms of redefining the politics of gender representation in film and the process of spectatorship. This article is mostly an homage to Abbas Kiarostami, a world-renowned Iranian director, who passed away recently. His cinematic style will be examined through the prism of representational politics of feminist film theory. Specifically, two of his films will be analyzed, a film Ten (2002) which is completely shot in the inside of a car, as a woman picks up passengers and drives them through Tehran, and another one, Shirin (2008), a film which consists of many close-ups of actresses watching a film scene, as a unique way of representing female spectatorship and the process of identification with the images on screen.
Crystalline Memories: Another Consciousness, Another Sensibility
Summary / Abstract: This essay is an exploratory investigation into the aesthetics of force and sensation, and an experimental “pragmatics of becoming” in The Beast Trilogy, a science-fiction graphic novel trilogy of Enki Bilal, a French-Yugoslav artist. The study is, first, inclined to transgress the rigid boundaries of logics of identity in favor of attuning to the processes that unfold new and affirmative approaches to the production of subjectivity-the approaches that consist of the processual dynamics of human and non-human bodies in “coagulation” or assemblage with each other. Next, it explores the graphic novels and Enki Bilal’s art as a pure being of sensation, a body that performs, a material capture, that is, a perception-consciousness formation, in which way contributes to the aesthetics of sensation. In making a plea for the non-unitary, multiple and complex subject of an intruder and in exploring Bilal’s capturing of the purely passive, receptive force of sensation on the aesthetic plane of composition, this essay embraces the embodied materialism, Irigaray’s sensible transcendental and Deleuze’s transcendental empiricism. In keeping with Deleuze and Guattari’s diagram of the landscape of subjectivity and the particular emphasis on their “affective forces” of materiality, and starting with the perspective informed by contemporary feminist writers, the paper engages with the notions of sensation, difference, time, memories, love, violence and otherness to suggest that his art is the machine of expression that embodies sensation, and extends it beyond, through a process that entails abandoning a dogmatic image of thought for an affective production of intruder assemblages and imperceptible becoming-x that further foster the intruder consciousness reconfigured through corporeality, and thus fabrication of a creative symbiosis of reason and the imagination premised on sensation.
Keywords: sensation, affective forces of materiality, imperceptible becoming-x, corporeality, becoming
Topography of the Political – Place in Queer Theory and Political Theory of Jacques Rancière
Summary / Abstract: This essay represents an attempt to consider a possible strategy of political thought and action through reflection on the category of place, based on the one hand on the critique of identity politics, and on the other, on investing in contingency as a condition of the political. Through discussion on the common ground of queer theory and political theory of Jacques Rancière, I argue that the politics of belonging to any identity, regardless of whether the identity is essentialized or strategic, minoritarian or not, reduces opinion to a limited and predictable patterns, while opening the perspective for a different line of thinking and political action that aims to dislocate and abandon the place of identity, hence the inability to found or position oneself into the politically impotent, although easily recognizable and inclusive identity. Rancière’s concepts of the two regimes /the police and the political/ and his theory of the political subject as the one who is in-between, all reveal significant relations with the queer theory and its reflection on norms and subversion. The political, according to Rancière, represents the meeting of the two regimes – contestation between, on the one hand, the idea of government, gathering of people in the community and establishing consensus, based on a hierarchical distribution of positions/places (police), and, on the other hand, the practice that presupposes equality as the only universality (politics). What the political is for Rancière corresponds strongly to a queer understanding of anti-identitarian, anti-static, and anti-normative. As the theoretical concept of queer represents an eff ort to avoid placement in any identitarian categories, this resistance which queer provides towards any attempts to be closed into a recognizable definition, opens up opportunities for different political articulation from the contemporary minority (identity based) political projects.
Keywords: place, identity, thinking, queer, the political, displacement
Ignorance as Plurality: Feminist Approaches to Epistemologies of Ignorance
Summary / Abstract: The paper focuses on critical consideration of the various categorizations of the concept of ignorance, with a specific reflection upon feminist categorizations of this concept. During the last ten years, an independent area of inquiry has been developed which goes by the name of agnotology or the epistemologies of ignorance. Its object of inquiry is the concept of ignorance, which was generally seen in the canonical epistemology as the negation of knowledge, deficient knowledge, or not-yet knowledge. Therefore, the primary challenge that agnotology faces is to try to define and categorize ignorance. The paper presents an analysis of ignorance as an autonomous concept, which is, like knowledge, socially situated, and which, besides maintaining the oppressive system, can also serve as a means of resistance.
Keywords: agnotology, epistemologies of ignorance, concept of ignorance, categorizations of ignorance, feminist epistemologies
Researching the Position of Workers on Cruise Ships: Reflections on the Significance of the Feminist Perspective
Summary / Abstract: This paper analyzes the concepts of modern research of the cruise ship industry, with a special focus on the position of migrant workers. From the beginning of the 21st century, the rapid development of this industry on a global scale has drawn the attention of many authors and institutions, and the studies of this phenomenon have resulted in an interesting fragmentation: tourism studies and the social-economic approach. Tourism studies, as an important field of the cruise ship industry research, have rarely engaged on the topic of migrant cruise ship workers, while the social-economic perspective has barely included the field of tourism as an important element in researching their position. The goal of this paper is to simultaneously provide better understanding of the cruise ship industry phenomenon in a wider social, economic and political context, and also point out the oversights that are visible when creating notions in public discourses on the position of workers. In order to better explain the importance of re-conceptualizing their general position, it is necessary to consult tourism studies regarding this problem, explain the relations that exist within the travel and cruise ship industries, and connect that with the relation between work and migrations as the primary factor for contextualizing conditions in which they exist. A special aspect of this paper is dedicated to the problem of the lack of a feminist theory and critique, both in tourism studies and in the social-economic approach. By introducing the feminist perspective, this paper points out the “dangers” of the scientific research discourse in creating concepts about the “migrant subjectivity” and the marginality of cruise ship workers. The first section off ers a short review of the approached and basic concepts in defining the cruise ship phenomenon, and refers to the legal and political context of the workers’ position within the industry. The second section deals with the insights of contemporary research and papers, indicating the theoretical and methodological problems of mapping the social-economic position of workers, while the aim of the third section is to indicate the importance of the feminist perspective in the understanding of this phenomenon, offering suggestions for further reviews and further research on the position of cruise ship workers, especially within the field of feminist geography.
Can Psychoanalysis Liberate a Woman? Reinterpretation of the Position of a Woman in the Psychoanalytic Theory of the Subject
Summary / Abstract: The main focus of the psychoanalytic theory and practice is on the subject, while other important individuals in his or her life, especially the mother, are observed and referred to as objects. For this reason, at the beginning of this paper, special attention is given to defining the following three terms: the woman, the role of the mother, and the function of the mother. These terms were approached from two angles; the ways in which the classical psychoanalytic theory and the intersubjective approach understand these themes were compared. The intersubjective approach offers a perspective that the Other is also a subject, and not a mere object of subject’s needs. Defining the woman as a subject in both theoretical and practical terms opens up the possibility of conveying this attitude to society. The paper aims to highlight the importance of a gender-sensitive approach in psychotherapy. Therefore, the paper offers a theoretical analysis of how we can reinterpret the position of a woman as the one who is in relation (with somebody), rather than exclusively in the socially constructed role as the object of desire.
Keywords: psychoanalysis, feminism, subject and object, intersubjective approach, the function of the mother, the role of the mother