Women's Studies 3BB3 Week 7 Readings Notes

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McMaster University
Women’s Studies
Dr.Janice Hdlaki

WS 3BB3 Body VisualitiesBody Week 7 Transformations in Artists Short Film and VideoA Cultural History Rosemarie GarlandThomson y All visual behaviour especially the intense urge to stare has a cultural history 25 y Ocularcentric depending on sight as the primary sensory conduit to the world we root our understanding in observation y Our reliance on seeing has also made us scepticalwe avidly question the truth of what we see y Vision shapes the modern citizenry y We build the work to accommodate the demands of seeing 26 y Hierarchy of the senses ex not considering the disadvantages of blindness in such avisually dependent world y Evil eye superstitionabout the primacy and power of vision o Belief in ocular potency for enacting the evil in the world is universal o Amulets relics to ward off evil spirits 27 y We have shifted our obsessions with staring from superstition to science but the force of the stare remains y Religious practices depend on the veneration of images y Rise of rationalism and scientific inquiry o Observation becomes important o Literacy and the printed word flourished o Development of individualism by validating the single spectator whose point of view controls the scene o Individual is the gatekeeper of knowledge o Shutting down the possibility that other knowledges might emerge o Objectivity as disengaged looking 28 y Science rose to prominence as the explanatory systemovertaking religion y Science taken as objective truth y Intense looking through stethoscopes Xrays sonography and genetic testing as intense looking imagined as untainted y Science used vision to categorize and rank people by their moral status and character to index their value as humans o Evaluating women people of colour and the poor o Extending into the social world in discriminatory ways o Clinical Gaze persontoperson staring that is highly impersonal scripted and asymmetricalInvasive stare exposes the body before the judgment and interpretation of authority 29Only those with the appropriate credentials can make these judgments y Consumer Vision ever on the move and pushed by information overload o Once central task of citizenship is consuming o Requires looking at commodities not people o Always sorting through images for that vision commodity that stands out to us that we desire Page 1 of 5
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