Matching Items (3)

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Heterotopias of power: miners, Mapuche, and soldiers in the production of the utopian Chile

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Drawing from Foucault's notion of heterotopias, my dissertation identifies and examines three distinct but related events that resignified (re-imagined) Chile during 2010, the year of its Bicentenary, namely: the Rescue

Drawing from Foucault's notion of heterotopias, my dissertation identifies and examines three distinct but related events that resignified (re-imagined) Chile during 2010, the year of its Bicentenary, namely: the Rescue of the 33 Miners trapped in the San José mine, the Chilean Military Parade performed in celebration of Chilean Independence, and the Mapuche Hunger Strike of 32 indigenous people accused of terrorism by the Chilean State. My central hypothesis states that these three events constitute heterotopias with strong performative components that, by enacting a utopian and a dystopian nation, denounce the flaws of Chilean society. I understand heterotopias as those recursive systems that invert, perfect or contest the society they mirror. In other words: heterotopias are discursive constructions and material manifestations of social relations that dispute, support, or distort cultural assumptions, structures, and practices currently operating in the representational spaces of a given society. In addition to following the six heterotopological principles formulated by Foucault, these case studies have performance as the central constituent that defines their specificity and brings the heterotopias into existence. Due to the performative nature of these heterotopias, I have come to call them performance heterotopias, that is, sets of behaviors that enact utopias in the historical world, the place in which we live, the site in which "the erosion of our lives, our time and our history occurs," as Foucault puts it. Here, performance would act as the interface, the point of interaction, and suture between the conceived, the perceived and the representational spaces each heterotopia articulates. Thus, a performance heterotopia would be a particular type of heterotopia which is enacted through performance. A relevant aspect that emerged from my research is that heterotopic places not only mirror, contest, and compensate their own host society, but also refer to, and intersect with other contemporaneous heterotopias enacted in that society. In my conclusion I suggest that such interactions also happen between heterotopias that emerge in different countries and cultures. If so, the mapping of utopias enacted in the macro socio geographies of Latin American countries could offer new perspectives to understand the sociopolitical processes that are underway in the region.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Girl-becomings: girls theorizing girlhood through visual art, theatre, and digital communications

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Using arts-informed ethnographic approaches, theatrical techniques and a feminist/performance studies lens, this study analyzes the construction of US girlhood from the perspective of girls ranging in age from fourteen to

Using arts-informed ethnographic approaches, theatrical techniques and a feminist/performance studies lens, this study analyzes the construction of US girlhood from the perspective of girls ranging in age from fourteen to seventeen by examining their original artistic creations and performances. Placing the artifacts of girl-created culture and the girls' representations, which I view as a performative practice, at the heart of my study, I connect girlhood studies to Butler's gender performance theories and to the larger field of performance studies. Rather than strictly analyzing these original works myself, I involve the girl participants as co-theorists in the analysis of the resulting artistic creations as a performance of girlhood. Through our theory building sessions, we aim to discover a nuanced understanding of girlhood and how gender identity can be performed by adolescent girls, as well as how artistic and theatrical practices can serve to assist youth in exploring complex issues. The adolescent female participants serve as active writers and performers of girlhood and through their writing and performances demonstrate their understanding of what it means to be a girl in contemporary US society. In viewing the girls as theorists, I demonstrate their capabilities while honoring their experiences and knowledge, an approach I believe should be more often employed in academia and in everyday life. Specifically, my study's central research question asks: how do US girls consume mass media representations of girlhood and reproduce or subvert these representations? In what ways do girls perform their understandings of their own identities and what it means to be a girl in contemporary US society through their creations of original art and literature, live theatrical pieces, and digital cultural practices? These works include theatrical performances, creative writing, self-portrait sculptures, and blogs/journals. Additionally, I conduct and analyze both solo and group interviews. I assert the importance of creative space and theatrical/artistic practices as tools with which girls can examine and challenge girlhood and gender discourses.

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Date Created
  • 2014