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Kalia Brooks, IDSVA





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The research that I am about to embark on focuses on the shift in expressions of gendered race in a screened world. This study is primarily centered on this mode of representation as it has been transformed through the evolution of image technology in film, television, and cyberspace. These three media platforms, in particular, are greatly influential on our cultural understanding of self-image, and the image of others. I will look closely at how depictions of gendered race have been authored in each medium, and the mental impact of these images on our individual and collective consciousness. I will argue that race, although not an invention of mass media, derived its meaning in large part from the mythology of images. And mass media, film and TV most specifically, used images of race to invent narratives about collective identification. There is an inherent connection between the images we see and how we identify or are identified, and the screen has been highly successful at mediating this delicate relationship to both detrimental and productive ends. I will be examining gendered race, as a performance of the double. The double is a mental function and an appearance. The appearance of the racial double, in its earliest form in Hollywood film and television, was a corrosive image. This was the case for the predominate image of blacks, which pointed back to the black body and reified the experience of racism and oppression within American culture. This is the image of the racial double that I reference throughout as the unproductive other because it is meant to draw sharp, impassable lines vii between white and black, or more theoretically the self and other. This traditional way of image-identification comes from a colonial structure of white/European supremacy, from which the subjugated position of the racial other was founded. In this dissertation I make the claim for a productive other. This form of doubling acknowledges but is liberated from the old practices of racial individuation. The new form of the productive other accepts images as pure copies, without origin, that do not point back to a single, organic source. It is an appearance that embodies transcendence, and is constantly seeking to be in connection with others. I refer to the process of embodied transcendence as eRacial, and it is the method by which we obtain a new, tertiary experience with image-identification in cyberspace.


Digital Humanities | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Other Film and Media Studies


Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts


Portland, ME

Idenitity and eRacial: Representing the Other in a Screened World



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