Recovering Women: Feminisms and the Representation of Addiction

Recovering Women: Feminisms and the Representation of Addiction

Recovering Women: Feminisms and the Representation of Addiction

Recovering Women: Feminisms and the Representation of Addiction

Synopsis

Melissa Pearl Friedling is assistant professor of film in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University.

Excerpt

Thus far, this book has considered questions about the prominence of recovery as a model for a historical, cultural, and political order with addiction functioning as the recurring site around which recovery discourses circulate. in this chapter, I do not examine the representations of the addict per se but instead focus sharply on the feminist recoveries of the opposition between mind and body that the structural crisis of addiction seems to disrupt, particularly within the oppositional discourses shaping the way feminisms write their own histories. Such feminist history making has, in the main, been driven by the politically motivated commitment to recount the experiences of women that the dominant historical record has ignored or suppressed. Within these historical accounts, the creative work of women has been revalued and creativity itself has served to facilitate a historical project as women make feminist history through alternative artistic forms of personal expression that don't necessarily conform to the dominant masculinist norms. Hence, women's art making has become an important mode of feminist activism and histories of feminism have chronicled such work as integral to the feminist movement on the side of embodied practice, and generally opposed to cerebral theory -- an opposition, I maintain, that problematically recovers mind/body dualism.

Indeed, since the 1960s feminist theory and avant-garde aesthetics have shared a concern with the relation between the personal and the political, art and life. Feminist consciousness-raising strategies typical of the early second wave of feminist activism announced that "the personal is political" in order . . .

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