Women's Research Network
Women's Research Network - Spring 2014 Events
Women’s Research Network sessions are held in
Unveiling the Appetites and Anxieties Behind Food, Film, and Women’s Studies
Friday, January 31st, 1-2:30 pm*
Presenter: Dr. Cynthia Baron, Theatre & Film
As noted in research by Counihan and Van Esterik, feminism and women’s studies have contributed to the growth of food studies by legitimating a domain of human behavior so heavily associated with women over time and across cultures. This presentation will consider women studies’ crucial role in the remarkable expansion of food studies since the 1980s. In addition, by looking at excerpts from films by and about women that are discussed in Appetites and Anxieties: Food, Film, and the Politics of Representation (Cynthia Baron, Diane Carson, and Mark Bernard), the presentation will consider ways to integrate food and gender studies. The research behind the book that will be discussed acknowledges that food has become an important cultural and research topic and that there are important connections between food and research in women’s studies.
Modern Art, the Black Woman, and Beauty Ideologies: Carrie Mae Weems' Not Manet's Type
Friday, February 28th, 1-2:30 pm*
Presenter: Kelsey Winiarski, Art History
*In recognition of Black History Month*
Carrie Mae Weems, a contemporary photographer, strives to discuss race, sex, and beauty in her work. Her photographic series Not Manet's Type scrutinizes ideologies of beauty existent in the twentieth century through exemplifying acclaimed works of art from this period. Using photographs of her own body in an intimate setting as the subject and juxtaposing each photograph with text, she ruminates over the role and rendering of Black women within the works of Édouard Manet, Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, and William de Kooning. This research project uses Weems' series as a springboard to explore issues of race, gender, and beauty within modern art.
Shoots, Slices, Survives: The Possibilities and Problematics of Aggressive Girls in Popular Film
Friday, March 21, 1-2:30 pm*
Presenter: Lisa Kaplan, American Culture Studies
*In recognition of Women's History Month*
Popular film representations present a possibility for constructing girlhood as constricted to hegemonic normative identities or a space in which such identities may be challenged. This study maintains that normative representations of internally aggressive girls both should and are being challenged within popular culture. The analysis is a critical content analysis of the externally aggressive girl protagonists in six popular films released between 2010 and 2013: Kick Ass, Hanna, Alice in Wonderland, The Hunger Games, Snow White and the Huntsman, and most recently, Frozen. The protagonists are analyzed comparatively and longitudinally with a focus on gendered performances and acts of aggression. Kaplan’s research asserts that such character representations have the potential to lead to the empowerment of real girls but are also complicated by post-feminist discourse.
Race, Disability, and Reproduction in Ruth Ozeki's My Year of Meats
Friday, April 25, 1-2:30 pm*
Presenter: Dr. Jolie Sheffer, English and American Culture Studies
*In recognition of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month (May)*
Ruth Ozeki’s comic novel My Year of Meats (1998) follows an Asian American documentary filmmaker, as she writes and directs episodes of “My American Wife!,” a weekly television documentary about American housewives sponsored by the American beef industry for the Japanese market. With its focus on a bi-racial Asian American woman hired to make meat-centric television episodes featuring white American families for the Japanese market, the novel links racial and national identity to media representations and global capital. Beyond its literal focus on meat production, the novel is structured around figurative uses of meat. The novel explores the analogy of race as a social and physical disability through its depiction of a host of "queer" families who challenge the media norm for mainstream representation: white, middle-class, heterosexual, able-bodied. Ultimately, Ozeki shows how generations of racist and sexist medicine, as well as contemporary global capital, dis-able women of color.
*Please note the new times for Women's Research Network events.