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 identification politics and the delusional trust that the Millennial period displays a “postracial” and “postfeminist” global. Hobson issues to diversified examples in cultural narratives, which recommend that new media depend on outdated ideologies within the shaping of the physique politic.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 subject as websites of political, cultural, and electronic resistance. It does so via reading a number of representations, from well known indicates like American Idol to public figures just like the Obamas to high-profile circumstances just like the Duke lacrosse rape scandal to present developments in electronic tradition. Hobson’s examine additionally discusses the ladies who've fueled and retooled twenty-first-century media to make experience of antiracist and feminist resistance. Her discussions contain 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 across 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 data overload, Hobson deals a world 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 have fun new applied sciences with no giving adequate suggestion to how category, 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
More importantly, I would argue, such “double consciousness” singing, to borrow from W. E. B. DuBois, necessarily shielded black women’s private lives from the public view, already inclined to distort their reality. If we have trouble hearing the black female voice ingrained in American music, then calling it the “national sound” of America might be just as risky. Yet, few would argue that black musical genres—from spirituals to blues to jazz to rock ’n’ roll to hip‑hop—are anything but quintessential American music.
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.
However, the protest song is communicated subtly, understatedly, even ironically. Such songs derive from the spirituals and blues traditions, which included secret codes—as Tubman already demonstrated—and double entendres so that different audiences would always hear differently. More importantly, I would argue, such “double consciousness” singing, to borrow from W. E. B. DuBois, necessarily shielded black women’s private lives from the public view, already inclined to distort their reality. If we have trouble hearing the black female voice ingrained in American music, then calling it the “national sound” of America might be just as risky.