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Patricia Leavy

Film follows three women who moved to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams. Tash Daniels aspires to be a filmmaker. Her short film was rejected from festivals, she has a stack of rejected grant proposals, and she lost her internship at a studio when her boss harassed her, forcing her to take a job as a personal shopper. Lu K is a hot deejay slowly working her way up the club scene, but no one is doing her any favors. Fiercely independent, she’s at a loss when she meets Paisley, a woman who captures her heart. Monroe Preston is the glamorous wife of a Hollywood studio head. As a teenager she moved to LA in search of a “big” life, but now she wonders if reality measures up to fantasy. When a man in their circle finds sudden fame, each of these women is catapulted on a journey of self-discovery. As the characters’ stories unfold, each is forced to confront how her past has shaped her fears and to choose how she wants to live in the present. Film is a novel about the underside of dreams, the struggle to find internal strength, the power of art, and what it truly means to live a “big” life. Frequently shown bathed in the glow of the silver screen, the characters in Film show us how the arts can reignite the light within. With a tribute to popular culture, set against the backdrop of Tinseltown, Film celebrates how the art we make and consume can shape our stories, scene by scene. Although fictional, Film is loosely grounded in interview research. It can be read entirely for pleasure or used as supplemental reading in a variety of courses in women’s studies/gender studies, sociology, psychology, communication, popular culture, media studies, or qualitative inquiry. Film can be read as a stand-alone novel or as a sequel to the bestselling novel, Blue.

Expanding the Rainbow

Exploring the Relationships of Bi+, Polyamorous, Kinky, Ace, Intersex, and Trans People

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Edited by Brandy L. Simula, J.E. Sumerau and Andrea Miller

Expanding the Rainbow is the first comprehensive collection of research on the relationships of people who identify as bi+, poly, kinky, asexual, intersex, and/or trans that is written to be accessible to an undergraduate audience. The volume highlights a diverse range of identities, relationship structures, and understandings of bodies, sexualities, and interpersonal relationships. Contributions to the volume include original empirical research, personal narratives and reflections, and theoretical pieces that center the experiences of members of these communities, as well as teaching resources. Collectively, the chapters present a diverse, nuanced, and empirically rich picture of the variety of relationships and identities that individuals are creating in the twenty-first century.

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Edited by Adrienne Trier-Bieniek

Feminist Theory and Pop Culture (Second Edition) synthesizes feminist theory with modern portrayals of gender in media culture. This updated text provides comprehensive and interdisciplinary scholarship focused on topics related to:

– Historical examination of feminist theory
– Application of feminist research methods
– Feminist theoretical perspectives such as the male gaze, feminist standpoint theory, Black feminist thought, queer theory, masculinity theory, theories of feminist activism, and postfeminism.
– Contributor chapters cover a range of topics from Western perspectives on belly dance to television shows such as Girls, Scandal, and Orange is the New Black.
– Feminist theory and the wave of feminism, including a discussion of the fourth wave
– Pedagogical features
– Suggestions for further reading and discussion questions for classroom use

Feminist Theory and Pop Culture was designed for classroom use and has been written with an eye toward engaging students in discussion. The book’s polished perspective on feminist theory juxtaposes popular culture with theoretical perspectives which have served as a foundation for the study of gender. This interdisciplinary text can serve as a primary or supplemental reading.

Intercultural Mirrors

Dynamic Reconstruction of Identity

Edited by Marie-Claire Patron and Julia Kraven

Intercultural Mirrors: Dynamic Reconstruction of Identity contains (auto)ethnographic chapters and research-based explorations that uncover the ways our intercultural experiences influence our process of self-discovery and self-construction. The idea of intercultural mirrors is applied throughout all chapters as an instrument of analysis, an heuristic tool, drawn from philosophy, to provide a focus for the analysis of real life experiences. Plato noted that one could see one’s own reflection in the pupil of another’s eye, and suggested that the mirror image provided in the eye of the other person was an essential contributor to self-knowledge. Taking this as a cue, the contributors of this book have structured their writings around the idea that the view of us held by other people provides an essential key to one’s own self-understanding.

Contributors are: James Arvanitakis, Damian Cox, Mark Dinnen, James Ferguson, Tom Frengos, Dennis Harmon, Donna Henson, Alexandra Hoyt, William Kelly, Lucyann Kerry, Julia Kraven, Taryn Mathis, Tony McHugh, Raoul Mortley, Kristin Newton, Marie-Claire Patron, Darren Swanson, and Peter Mbago Wakholi.

Damian Cox

Abstract

This chapter explores a process by which knowledge of one’s own emotions is facilitated through a mirroring relation: a process I call affect mirroring. I give special emphasis to affect mirrors in intercultural encounters. The first part of the chapter is a philosophical examination of the phenomenon of emotional self-knowledge, in which I describe the fundamental complicating factor in attempts to attain emotional lucidity. The second part of the chapter sets out my account of affect mirrors. They are ways in which we gain emotional self-knowledge by seeing the same emotion displayed by others. In an affect mirror, we come to understand our own emotions by seeing them mirrored by others. The final part of the chapter is an explication of this concept and what it comes to in intercultural contexts. I discuss affect mirrors in two works of cinema, contrasting the way they operate in a monocultural context (the film is Call Me by Your Name) and in an intercultural context (the film is La Promesse). I argue that the intercultural affect mirrors offer opportunities of profound moral transformation.

Barceloneta as Heterotopic Mirror

A Place of Different Spaces

Tony McHugh

Abstract

Barceloneta (Little Barcelona) is now my second home. Its marketplace has become my heterotopic mirror,1 a concept theorised by Michel Foucault that simultaneously reflects and contests this new place/space of mine. Through a series of selections and ‘fragmentations’ of my time in Barcelona I interrogate how oppositions and alliances, juxtapositions and separations, fundamentally identify a relational process which functions best because of its different combinations. Perhaps it is the uncertainty of the mirror where, ‘I discover myself absent at the place where I am’ (Foucault, 1998 [1967], p. 179) that lays bare the fragility and strength, the confusion and hope, of living ‘out of place’ in a culture that is not my own.

Becoming a Person through Intercultural Communication

A White American’s Experiences in Asia and Africa

William Kelly

Abstract

Martin Buber’s philosophy of dialogue provides the conceptual framework for understanding the influence of intercultural communication on my identity development. For Buber, the self is relational, and it is only through our encounters with others that we build a self. In line with Buber’s philosophy, I describe my experiences in Asia and Africa over a period of nearly 25 years that led to significant changes in my perception of self. Two major phases of identity development are traced. The first is one of taking advantage of my position as a white American and relating to nonwhite peoples on my terms and treating them as less developed. The second is the phase when I began to understand the historical predicament of non-Western cultures and how Western colonialism and other forms of domination formed the background of my intercultural interactions. At that point, intercultural communication became a vehicle for reaching out to those who are different and to move from an identity that relied on feelings of superiority toward cultural others to an identity based more on mutuality and giving. I ended up attempting to integrate what was valuable from my original cultural background with what I had learned from the cultures of Asia and Africa. This perspective enabled me to see myself as both a unique individual and as a member of larger communities that I could choose to enter, leave, and re-enter.

Kristin Newton

Abstract

I became aware at an early age how difficult it can be to adapt to another culture and lifestyle. We have an image of ourselves, but is that who we really are? What happens when that image disintegrates? Who are we then? How do others perceive us when we no longer fit the image they had of us? I have taught drawing workshops to hundreds of people from many countries for over 25 years. In a way, entering the world of drawing is like traveling in another country. Drawing changes one’s perceptions, and students experience a kind of culture shock.

When I started writing this chapter, I didn’t expect to focus on drawing as much as I did, but along the way, I realised how much I owe to drawing as a powerful tool of perception. Drawing has taught me many things about life, culture and, especially, the way we perceive and process information. Almost everyone hits a wall in the process of their drawing. I also hit many walls even while teaching people to draw. Still after all these years, living in Japan continuously pushes me and teaches me surprising things about myself.

The Decentred Delegate

Adapting Identity within a Model United Nations Learning Environment

Dennis Harmon II and Mark Dinnen

Abstract

This chapter provides an analysis of three subjects that participated within a cross-cultural simulation-based learning (SBL) exercise, the Model United Nations (MUN). The aim is to discuss the implications of the decentred self, to the concept of identity and self as a beneficial transformative process that aids in academic and social growth. In the educational setting, both authentic and simulated, the concept of self can be broken, altered, and reconstructed through educational and life-changing encounters. We propose that learners who participate in MUN simulations and conferences are required to represent the interests of nations that are alien to them, thereby acting as a catalyst that alters their worldviews and perspectives of self, and thus, becoming the decentred delegate. This chapter explores these concepts through a Hegelian lens. Individuals, through society, create their identity and concept of self as they develop and grow. These notions come from both actual and imagined interactions. The co-construction of identity within a given society or group provides an avenue for growth in confidence, independence, and the development of a higher empathy and moral standing in the global community. This ethical development emerges through mutual recognition and understanding of others.

Doni Doni Kononi Danala – Little by Little the Little Bird Builds Its Nest

Intercultural Reflections: Western Travel in Non-Western Culture

Alexandra Hoyt

Abstract

Told from the point of view of Ali Hoyt, an American undergrad college student, living and studying in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa, Doni Doni Kononi Danala – Little by Little the Little Bird Builds its Nest is an ethnographic reflection on intercultural exchanges and friendships across Western and non-Western cultural differences, and the deep and impactful effects of the intercultural mirror: the pupil of the eye of cultural others. Before she embarked on the study abroad trip, Hoyt shaved her head with the reasoning that she would attract less unwanted attention. No makeup or beauty products were purchased on preparatory shopping trips. The version of herself that her homestay families met and got to know was not the version of herself that she typically presented in the West. She was exposed. All of her exterior guards had been removed. Join Hoyt as she reflects on her cross-cultural experience living in Guinea, and the friends she met there who turned into family. The intercultural mirror is at play throughout each twist and turn for this Westerner experiencing non-Western travel for the first time.