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COM 245 Week 11

by: Justin Hynes

COM 245 Week 11 COM 245

Justin Hynes
GPA 3.7
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About this Document

04/07 - Performing and Documenting Race, Gender, and Sexuality 04/18 - Race & Representation: Embodiment
Communication & Pop Culture
Marcella Szablewicz
Class Notes
Com, communication, 245, Pop, Culture




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Justin Hynes on Sunday April 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COM 245 at Pace University taught by Marcella Szablewicz in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 45 views. For similar materials see Communication & Pop Culture in Journalism and Mass Communications at Pace University.

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Date Created: 04/17/16
04/07 – Performing and Documenting Race, Gender, & Sexuality • Paris is Burning (91) • Director Jennie Livingston • Winner, Grand Jury Prize at 1991 Sundance • Documents “Ball” subculture in 1980s NYC • Budget $250,000 (though they spent up to $500,000); grossed 3.78 million Does it matter who is behind the camera? Jennie Livingston is a white, gender queer, lesbian. Can she make a film about a dominantly black & latino subculture ? Does the ball culture/reinforce dominant culture or challenge it? Is drag subversive? “Within white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy the experience of men dressing as women, appearing in drag, has always been regarded by the dominant heterosexual cultural gaze as a sign that one is symbolically crossing over from a realm of power to a realm of powerlessness…” (p. 146) ‘For black males to take appearing in drag seriously, be they gay or straight, is to oppose a heterosexist representation of black manhood.” (p. 147) “What viewers witness is not black men longing to impersonate or even become like “real” black women but their obsession with an idealized fetishized vision of femininity that is white” (p.148) “no black queen of his [Dorian Carey’s] day wanted to be Lena Horne” (p.148) Whose View? Whose Power? Is it a problem that the filmmaker is a white lesbian female? Should Livingston have done more to acknowledge who she is and what perspective she creates the film from? What Audience? “Is it problematic for the yuppie looking, straight-acting, pushy, predominantly white folks in the audience” to leave the film saying it is amazing, marvelous, incredibly funny, worthy of statements like didn’t you just love it?” p. 149 Livingston film v. Madonna’s use of culture 04/18 – Race & Representation: Embodiment J.Lo & Selena • Is it problematic for a Puerto-Rican American from the Bronx (Niuyorican) to portray a Mexican-American from Texas (Tejana) • “Selena and I are both Latinas and both had the common experience of growing up Latina in this country. This was good enough.” J.Lo (183) • “I’m all in favor of Latinos playing Latinos but saying a Puerto Rican couldn’t play Selena, a Texas girl, is taking it a bit far. Selena looked like me. She was dark and she was, well, curvy” J.Lo (184) How are “Latinas” constituted s radicalized bodies? Stated differently, what “marks” a body as Latina in the popular imagination? “Although race was hardly mentioned in this debate over curves and rear ends, for any Caribbean interlocutor, references to this part od the human anatomy are often a way of speaking about Africa in(side) America J.LO owns her body and everything is planned and strategic Jennifer’s display was at least a triple sign: showing ass as a sign of identity and pride, kiss my ass’ as a form of revenge against a hostile cultural gaze, and Im going to kick your ass vis a cis the economic exploitation implicated in racism WHY ARE BIG butts so bad? What does a butt signify? dirty? sex? In this moment, a particular brand of whiteness is disrupted But does this new brand of body necessarily help women with issues of body image the thin waist and curvaceous bottom…is a different kind of unattainable beauty Dreamworlds But Jhally defines a music television dreamworld that: “depicts a straight male fantasy where specific film techniques, narrative cues, and regimes of representation frame women as interchangeable, accessible, and available sex objects” (38) What is the “backwards gaze” that Durham refers to on pg. 38? - the male gaze, voyeuristic This gaze frames the backside as an erogenous zone of racial difference complementing the breast a s signifier of gender difference for black women” How is femininity “classed” in Beyonce’s video? In reference to Destiny’s Child video for Lose My Breath: “The back alley battle that takes place between the so called lady and throw ghetto girl serves as a compelling metaphor to describe the simultaneous respectable and sexually accessible womanhood that black female artists must perform” (41) Check On It: 4 main looks Girl gang member The diva The ghetto girl Dance troupe member (also school girl in angora swearer, diva in gown, and dancer in bodysuit) Saartje Baartman: The Hottentot Venus A political cartoon comparing Baartman to Lord Grenville and the Whigs (know as the “broad bottoms”) In 1810 Baartman had traveled to England (purportedly after signing a contract) to take part in shows Kim K. = ethnic other? such a damn conundrum does she capitalize on it?


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