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Overturning feminist phenomenologies: disability, complex embodiment, intersectionality, and film

Chamarette, J. ORCID: (2018) Overturning feminist phenomenologies: disability, complex embodiment, intersectionality, and film. In: Rethinking Feminist Phenomenology : Theoretical and Applied Perspectives. Rowman & Littlefield International, London, pp. 187-208. ISBN 9781786603739

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1. This book chapter poses a very substantial contribution to three interdisciplinary fields: feminist phenomenology, critical disability studies, and film studies, showing how an integrated understanding of all three can posit filmmaking as a site from which new feminist understandings of complex embodiment can emerge. Challenging standard feminist phenomenologies of situated embodiment, the chapter specifically invites these models to reconsider gender within the framework of intersectionality – incorporating the lived experience of bodies which are not only gendered, but also normatively labelled as ‘able’ or ‘disabled’, raced, and queer. The chapter accounts persuasively for the relevance of film to feminist phenomenologies, identifying how cinematic techniques can complexify standardised accounts of situated embodiment, reveal implicit ‘ableisms’, and shift an ethical perspective on the world from one of ‘independence’ to ‘interdependence’. The chapter concisely summarises the large volume of existing literature on disability and film, identifying the ableist tropes that are commonly held, but also equally overthrown , in film and the moving image. To demonstrate the case for intersectional, complex embodiment, the chapter employs a range of moving image works, including a sequence from the Canadian documentary EXAMINED LIFE (2008), where activist Sunaura Taylor and Judith Butler take a walk in San Francisco, a promotional video developed by South African disability activist and ambassador Eddi Ndopu to support the costs of his Master’s studies at Oxford University, and the French fiction film Read My Lips (dir. Jacques Audiard, 2000). The chapter is the culmination of a sustained engagement with feminist phenomenologies and film-phenomenology over a decade of the author’s scholarship. It also places an ethical demand upon feminist phenomenologies to acknowledge the very necessary intersections and interactions between disability gender, and race, as a condition of feminist phenomenology’s own critical engagement with the world.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Art > Art History
ID Code:92938
Publisher:Rowman & Littlefield International

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