Madeline Martin-Seaver: "Erasing the Body/Asserting the Body"

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Engelska parken – Eng2/1022 and Zoom (contact Irene Martinez Marin for link)
  • Organiser: Department of Philosophy
  • Contact person: Irene Martinez Marin
  • Seminarium

The Higher Seminar in Aesthetics

Madeline Martin-Seaver, Auburn University: "Erasing the Body/Asserting the Body: Respectability Politics and Anti-Assimilationist Aesthetics"


Abstract
This paper looks at aesthetic strategies for asserting personhood in the face of gendered and racialized oppression by comparing respectability politics and anti-assimilationist body aesthetics. The term “respectability politics” picks out a set of strategies developed to safeguard black women's bodies from white violence. While respectability politics can mitigate oppressive violence, it doesn’t successfully assert personhood, because it cannot fully claim personhood for the people it tries to protect. Janell Hobson and Chike Jeffers both provide anti-assimilationist aesthetics accounts which assert the body. Instead of blandness and erasure, anti-assimilationist politics prioritize the presence of particular human bodies and their various aesthetic impressions. By examining the aesthetic treatment of human bodies in social-political life, we can better understand the way political projects operate.