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” international. Hobson issues to various examples in cultural narratives, which recommend that new media depend on outdated ideologies within the shaping of the physique politic.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 topic as websites of political, cultural, and electronic resistance. It does so by way of reading numerous representations, from renowned exhibits like American Idol to public figures just like the Obamas to high-profile situations just like the Duke lacrosse rape scandal to present developments in electronic tradition. Hobson’s learn 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 tune, making a web publication, donning a veil, stripping bare, or planting a tree. Spinning wisdom out of this knowledge overload, Hobson deals an international 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 parts of academia to wholeheartedly rejoice new applied sciences with no giving adequate suggestion to how classification, gender, race, and geographical divisions impact either the construction and intake ends of the chain.” — Gail Dines, coeditor of Gender, Race, and sophistication in Media: A serious Reader, 3rd version

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

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Maybe race, gender, and ethnicity had a hand in voting decisions, maybe not. However, there does seem to be a distinction made in which blackness is a recognizable “difference” that media calls our attention to and which whites can co‑opt for their musical expressions as signs of “innovativeness,” while Latinidad is often times made invisible, or “heard but not seen” (if one has an “accent” or speaks Spanish, then Latinidad becomes recognizable). During Season 8, for instance, Puerto Rican contestant Jorge Nuñez’s accent became an issue on the show and, as a result, he failed to advance to the finals.

Shows such as American Idol rely on this belief of constantly being on the lookout for the “next American Idol,” who could be “you,” the average TV viewer. All “you” need is a great voice, and if “you” don’t have that, “you” may stand to gain five minutes of fame by making a 24 Body as Evidence spectacle of yourself—should “you” be so lucky to be featured during the auditions segment of the show, in which those without talent receive the same level of attention as those with talent. Indeed, auditioners such as William Hung and General Larry Platt—whose ditty “Pants on the Ground” became an Internet remix hit—capitalized on their publicity as comedic untalented Idol contenders.

Am of the Black Eyed Peas. This democratized and participatory “free speech” haven, which allows for any and every kind of video sharing—political and otherwise—serves the purpose of highlighting the inclusivity of “You,” whoever that universally imagined average Internet user might be. However, it was not long before Big Media began to encroach on this site. It is worth noting that the “Single Ladies” video became a phenomenon at a time when Google began to enforce copyright laws on YouTube after partnering with big business, which attached advertisements on various uploaded videos and throughout the Web site.

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