Circuits of Visibility
Gender and Transnational Media Cultures
Publication Year: 2011
Circuits of Visibility explores transnational media environments as pathways to understand the gendered constructions and contradictions that underwrite globalization. Tracking the ways in which gendered subjects are produced and defined in transnationally networked, media saturated environments, Circuits of Visibility presents sixteen essays that collectively advance a discussion about sexual politics, media, technology, and globalization.
Covering the internet, television, books, telecommunications, newspapers, and activist media work, the volume directs focused attention to the ways in which gender and sexuality issues are constructed and mobilized across the globe. Contributors' essays span diverse global sites from Myanmar and Morocco to the Balkans, France, U.S., and China, and cover an extensive terrain from consumption, aesthetics and whiteness to masculinity, transnational labor, and cultural citizenship. Circuits of Visibility initiates a necessary conversation and political critique about the mediated global terrain on which sexuality is defined, performed, regulated, made visible, and experienced.
Published by: NYU Press
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My inspiration to work on this project came from teaching a graduate seminar, “Gender and Globalization,” at New York University. The stimulating discussions with my students about gender and sexuality spanned intertwined contexts of war, migration, neoliberal shifts, labor, technology, and media flows. My undergraduate students in...
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The past decade has seen an internationalization of cultural studies scholarship and an emerging interest in interdisciplinary approaches to the study of globalization. Recent developments on the world stage, such as the global economic crisis, political violence, urban terror, militarization, and migrant flows, all reveal the complex interplay...
PART I: Configuring Visibilities
1. Seeing Princess Salma: Transparency and Transnational Intimacies
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In raising questions of how spaces of global media shape feminine visibility we find ourselves entangled in discussions about modernity and transparency that have remained lively for several decades. Women’s exposure to the eyes of particular men, or of random publics, and concerns about what their clothing covers or what it reveals...
2. Constructing Transnational Divas: Gendered Productions of Balkan Turbo-folk Music
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The same year in which former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic was on trial for war crimes at The Hague, the wife of one of his former henchmen held a concert in the Serbian part of Bosnia—a country deeply scarred by the violence of the 1990s. Ceca, a Balkan superstar in her own right, a well-known Serbian nationalist...
3. The Gendered Face of Latinidad: Global Circulation of Hybridity
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This chapter examines the gendered face of Latinidad as it is transported, manipulated, and articulated by popular media networks under the contemporary conditions of globality. Latinidad, the process of being, becoming, and/or performing belonging within a Latina/o diaspora, challenges many popular and academic categories...
4. E-Race-ing Color: Gender and Transnational Visual Economies of Beauty in India
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Pond’s medicalized and mystical representation of the Indian female body in this news release as filled with dark poison that can be extracted in order to restore white purity belongs in a larger constellation of proliferating discourses on beauty in globalizing India. Extending Pond’s equation of whitening with purifying...
PART II: Contesting Ideologies
5. Gendered Blueprints: Transnational Masculinities in Muslim Televangelist Cultures
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The tragic shooting in the Texas military base of Fort Hood has reanimated an extant post-9/11 debate about Muslim men as culturally confused, excessively pious, and intrinsically violent. American media coverage initially—and briefly—steered explanations in their conflicted attempt to avoid anti-Muslim bigotry, but a linear link between...
6. Transnational Media Wars over Sex Trafficking: Abolishing the “New Slave Trade” or the New Nativism?
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Government websites, television, films, documentaries, news channels, and other media depictions equate sex trafficking with what is popularly labeled the “New Slave Trade.” While various political parties and organizations are divided over how to address migration, the branding of sex trafficking as modern-day slavery strategically...
7. “Recycling” Heroines in France: Coutured Identities and Invisible Transitions
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Museum exhibitions often present significant, if rarely analyzed, examples of framing group identities and masking cultural divides by presenting culturally hegemonic definitions of identity. In the contemporary mediated space of the museum, technologies of display may be manipulated in service to a variety of goals: mediation...
8. Celebrity Travels: Media Spectacles and the Construction of a Transnational Politics of Care
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A long history of celebrity involvement in politics and humanitarian efforts has contributed to the production of celebrity activism as an influential media phenomenon that now permeates popular culture. Such A-list celebrities as Bono, Angelina Jolie, Madonna, David Beckham, Brad Pitt, Paul Newman, Bruce Springsteen...
PART III: Capital Trails
9. Objects of Knowledge, Subjects of Consumption: Persian Carpets and the Gendered Politics of Transnational Knowledge
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Connoisseur books, as a genre of knowledge production, have been crucial sites for the formation and transformation of material culture and for the production of racial and gendered differences, especially in the modern structure of empire. The genre has led to the creation of a decontextualized knowledge in which commodities...
10. Spaces of Exception: Violence, Technology, and the Transgressive Gendered Body in India’s Global Call Centers
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As India defines its place in the global economy as the high-tech solution center for business operations, new forms of work and work environments have emerged in the communication and information-technology sectors. These new work environments have radically altered the social and cultural experiences of everyday...
11. Maid as Metaphor: Dagongmei and a New Pathway to Chinese Transnational Capital
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The World, Jia Zhangke’s poignantly titled and widely acclaimed film, is set on the rural outskirts of Beijing in a theme park studded with replicas of iconic global tourist destinations such as the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, and the White House. There, visitors, many of whom are wide-eyed Chinese villagers visiting Beijing for the first time...
12. Dial “C” for Culture: Telecommunications, Gender, and the Filipino Transnational Migrant Market
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In recent decades, the transnational practices that tie migrants and immigrants to their families and friends “back home”—such as calling, visiting, and sending care packages and money—have become increasingly significant sources of profit for media and telecommunications corporations, airlines, shipping companies, and remittance...
PART IV: Technologies of Control
13. Digital Cosmopolitanisms: The Gendered Visual Culture of Human Rights Activism
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In the first decade of the twenty-first century, the Internet has become the preeminent medium from which international human rights campaigns have been publicized. Activists from around the world—whether it is Tibet, the Sudan, Iran, or Iraq—have increasingly turned to YouTube or independent websites such as...
14. Doing Cultural Citizenship in the Global Media Hub: Illiberal Pragmatics and Lesbian Consumption Practices in Singapore
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The recent development of a global media hub in Singapore has enabled the emergence of a queer public culture despite the illegality of homosexuality. State-funded gay films, subsidized theater plays, Internet portals, and nightclubs are part of the new spaces and practices that have been direct beneficiaries of this policy initiative..
15. Gendering Cyberspace: Transnational Mappings and Uyghur Diasporic Politics
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Positioning herself as a compassionate “Mother of the Nation,” Rebiya Kadeer has emerged as a central figure in the transnational advocacy campaigns of the diasporic Uyghurs—a Turkic-speaking and predominantly Muslim minority community from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in China.2 Her words and...
16. Ladies and Gentlemen, Boyahs and Girls: Uploading Transnational Queer Subjectivities in the United Arab Emirates
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In recent years the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has witnessed multiple transgressive discourses pertaining to heteronormative structures of sexuality, with cybertechnology serving as a primary platform for the enactments of subaltern sexual subjectivities. In this chapter, I explore how state apparatuses and technologies of control...
About the Contributors
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Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2011