Women and the Arts:: Dialogues in Female Creativity
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This collection brings together twelve essays that tackle the nexus between gender, literature, and the visual arts. While it provides a philosophical and theoretical background for some of the factors that shape female creativity, it also considers the contributions of particular writers and artists from the late 17th century to the contemporary scene. Mostly focusing on the U.S. context, the articles anthologized here further establish a dialogue with other cultural backgrounds, offering the reader a wider perspective of networks of women artists in several countries. The anthology is grounded in Gender Studies while adopting a transdisciplinary approach that combines a series of theoretical frameworks active in the contemporary academic context, such as ecocriticism, comparative literature, and postcolonial studies.
ontological status, but also a process of collective memory that is currently and actually experienced. The story of feminist art and its contribution to the way art has been perceived since the 60s can also be examined by thinking about the processes through which we read art works from the 8 9 Phelan suggests that touch needs to be considered epistemologically, so that the body becomes central to the processes of knowledge. Given
‘changing and transformative nature of the self’ (84), and further maintained that, like the were-jaguars of the Olmecs, this watercolor depicts Cervántez as both animal and human, which respectively represent ‘the unsocialized, natural self and the socially constructed self’ (85). Since the early 1900s European and North American anthropologists and archaeologists have taken notice of the were-jaguar's recurrence in Olmec and Mesoamerican art. This image figures prominently in sculpture,
either because this is explicitly stated or because such items are things which, metaphorically, we often find ourselves walking in or handing down, or because they serve as a common locus of recognition.2 The expression ‘the family voice / I felt in my throat’ is noteworthy because it allows us to connect the discovery of one’s poetic voice to the recognition that one’s utterances are never 1 2 For our present discussion, we can set aside the additional question of clubs that act like families
of others (4, 35). However, instead of surrendering to the muffling and alienating power of pain, Rich defeats it by transforming her broken body into language: ‘I feel signified by pain / from my breastbone through my left shoulder down’ (‘Contradictions: Tracking Poems,’ Your Native 89). Translating suffering into poetry enables Rich to voice the silences and chaos of physical pain, overcoming its ineffability by paradoxically incorporating it. As eloquently enunciated by Emily Dickinson in the
expresses a desire to connect and identify with those who suffer while simultaneously recognizing their otherness. Actually, according to Butler, proper identification involves acknowledging the differences it seeks to overcome: ‘The one with whom I identify is not me, and that “not being me” is the condition of the identification’ (Precarious Life 145). Something can be learned from connecting one’s private pain with public suffering, despite (and because of) their differences, as Rich states in