Circuits of Visibility: Gender and Transnational Media Cultures

Circuits of Visibility: Gender and Transnational Media Cultures

Circuits of Visibility: Gender and Transnational Media Cultures

Circuits of Visibility: Gender and Transnational Media Cultures

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

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 between economic, cultural, and political processes. Although issues of gender and sexuality are woven into these exigencies, the manner in which they come into public view demands critical attention. Circuits of Visibility is an attempt to create an intellectual space in order to engage with the gendered politics of visibility in the context of globalization.

Gendered Subjects and Global Visibility

Visibility, writes Foucault, is a trap. It assures the automatic functioning of power whose force lies “in a certain concerted distribution of bodies, surfaces, lights, gazes; in an arrangement whose internal mechanisms produce the relation in which individuals are caught up.” Following that logic, the gendered subject of globalization, far from being self-evident or transparent as often assumed, has to be situated within shifting formations of power. There is scholarly consensus that gendered categories being reproduced under transnational conditions need more nuanced research attention. Global flows of media technologies, migration, and the unfettered mobility of capital rework old logics of domination in new global forms. The subject of sexuality and cultural politics gets caught in the global crossfire, and the issues are no longer contained within national borders and local domains. The uneven formations of global cultures and their implications are a point of political and intellectual concern to scholars and activists alike.

The essays in Circuits of Visibility track the ways in which gendered subjects are produced and defined in transnationally networked, media-saturated environments. Driving this production is the flow of capital, with its complex global infrastructure of commodities, resources, and bodies. Media technologies, systems of representation, and information networks constitute the circuitry that transport modalities of power, producing what Grewal and Kaplan term “scattered hegemonies.” Hence, transnational media environments serve as a crucial site from which to examine gendered constructions and contradictions that underwrite globalization. Globalization represents a complex disjunctive order . . .

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