Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Affects of an Exigence: Shameful Representations of Afghan Women after 9/11
by Bosley, Shanna, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2011, 207; 13833827
Abstract (Summary)

This project is concerned with processes of representation, specifically with what is produced when subjects are reduced by being represented as victims, and what that product - the victim “concept” - might be signifying and doing. The theoretical aims of this project are to explore how sensational images, narrative representations and the discursive sensation that circulates around them, rather than being merely or simply reductive, might tell us something of value. Much of this work involves strategies of representation and tracking patterns in representations, which involves clusters of feeling, of intensity, and reduction in our information age.

The representation of Afghan women after September 11, 2001 is the subject of this study. The discursive victim-status of Afghan women has occupied multiple, measurable levels of discourse across time, pre- and post-9/11. The quantifiable explosion of interest in this group after the historical precedent lends itself to a development of how victim-representation operates, a function necessary later when unpacking affective representation.

This project consists of three main, contingent points of development. The first is identifying “victim” representations; considering how the partial truth of victimhood in representation is a form of objectification that renders a very particular type of object. The second point explores how victim representation is not only affective, but is actually defined by its affective force, with implications for how these representations of the Other are working. The third point of development explores the quality of the victim-affect, to give specificity and shape to the range of affects and affective power one can imagine victim-representation engendering, as well as to consider how this contributes to our understanding of the central problematic of the Other in cultural translation.

Indexing (document details)
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: Cultural Translation
School Location: France
Source: MAI 58/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American studies, Womens studies, Middle Eastern Studies
Publication Number: 13833827
ISBN: 978-0-438-79579-2
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