The Cultural Discourses of Breast Cancer Narratives
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Acknowledgments
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Introduction: Representing Breast Cancer in the Twenty-first Century
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Ovarian surgery was only part of the solution. What about breast cancer?uni00A0.uni00A0.uni00A0. We couldn’t turn our backs on what we knew. We still had our family history, even if it was different from the one we represent their personal victory over this terrifying disease.uni00A0.uni00A0.uni00A0. Narratives that explore women’s lived experience of breast cancer and ...
1. Postmillennial Breast Cancer Photo-narratives: Technologized Terrain
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Visual and autobiographical narratives that explore women’s lived experience of breast cancer and its cultural discourses are the subject of this book, which offers a critical analysis of postmillennial representations of a gendered and potentially lethal illness.1 ...
2. Audre Lorde's Successors: Breast Cancer Narratives as Feminist Theory
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The compelling legacy of the self- described “Black lesbian feminist war-rior poet” Audre Lorde (1nine.oldstyle34– nine.oldstyle2) has been the subject of significant criti-cal commentary by theorists of breast cancer during the past decade. In Beyond Slash, Burn, and Poison Marcy Jane Knopf- Newman claims that both The Cancer Journals (1nine.oldstyle80), written shortly af_ter Lorde’s 1nine.oldstyle78 mas-...
3. Narratives of Prophylactic Mastectomy: Mapping the Breast Cancer Gene
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In Manmade Breast Cancer Zillah Eisenstein offers not only a feminist manifesto but also a genealogical narrative of her family’s illness his-tory: “I want to go deeply into my body’s story, which is entwined with my mother’s and sisters’ bodies.uni00A0.uni00A0.uni00A0. If there is such a thing as geneti-cally inherited breast cancer, I most probably have it” (1– 4). Her mother, ...
4. Rebellious Humor in Breast Cancer Narratives: Deflating the Culture of Optimism
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Despite the seriousness of the disease, not all breast cancer narratives are somber; many are actually funny. Indeed, rebellious humor serves as an antidote to resignation and despair in postmillennial autobiographi-cal writing by scores of U.S. women about their cancer experience, from diagnosis to surgery to chemotherapy and/or radiation to recovery and/...
5. New Directions in Breast Cancer Photography: Documenting Women's Post-operative Bodies
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Photographic representations of women living with or beyond breast cancer have gained prominence in recent decades due to increasing incidences and heightened public awareness of this disease. Visual breast cancer narratives constitute both documentary projects and dialogic sites of self-construction, for all “selves” are texts to be deciphered, ...
6. Cancer Narratives and an Ethics of Commemoration: Susan Sontag, Annie Leibovitz, and David Rieff
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Susan Sontag’s cultural critique of cancer stigmatization in Illness as Met-aphor (1nine.oldstyle77) and her theoretical musings in On Photography (1nine.oldstyle77) and Regarding the Pain of Others (2003) offer rich insights through which to analyze photographic and literary representations of Sontag’s own ex-perience with cancer by Annie Leibovitz (her lover) in A Photographer’s ...
7. Bodies, Witness, Mourning: Reading Breast Cancer Autoanatography
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The critical term autothanatography is in one sense redundant, for as Susanna Egan acknowledges in Mirror Talk: Genres of Crisis in Contem-porary Autobiography, “the spectre of death hovers over all autobiogra-phy, usually unnamed” (1nine.oldstyle6). However, in breast cancer memoirs writ-ten by women whose disease has metastasized to stage four and whose ...
Afterword: What Remains
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As a final consideration of the public impact of autothanatographic proj-ects that reckon with breast cancer, let us turn to Lisa Saltzman’s theories of commemorative art in Making Memory Matter, where she offers rich avenues for exploring “the aesthetic dimensions and the ethical capaci-ties of visual objects that pursue the question of memory in the present” ...
Appendix: Links to Selected Breast Cancer Websites and Blogs
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Page Count: 264
Illustrations: 12 halftones, 7 color images
Publication Year: 2013