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Appears in Collections:Communications, Media and Culture Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Questions of Embodied Difference: Film and Queer Phenomenology
Authors: Lindner, Katharina
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Keywords: cinema
queer theory
Issue Date: Nov-2012
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
Citation: Lindner K (2012) Questions of Embodied Difference: Film and Queer Phenomenology, NECSUS European Journal of Media Studies, 2.
Abstract: This article argues for the usefulness of a queer engagement with/critique of phenomenological approaches to film. Film phenomenology (i.e., Marks, 2000; Sobchack, 2004; Barker, 2009) attempts to account for the embodied and sensuous nature of our encounter with cinema - a critical response to the 'scopic regime' that has long dominated Film Studies. Barker (2009), for instance, suggests that the similarities between both the viewer's and the film's ways of 'being in the world' need to be accounted for in order to better 'grasp' how we make 'sense' of cinema, and she goes on to explore the sensuous nature of our encounter with cinema at the level of 'skin', 'musculature' and 'viscera'. What seems to be only insufficiently acknowledged within this debate is the significance of embodied difference. Our ways of 'being in the world' differ, depending on how we have come to embody gender, race and sexuality, for instance. I therefore argue for the usefulness of introducing Sara Ahmed's Queer Phenomenology (2006) to contemporary debates around film and phenomenology. Ahmed provides both a queer critique of traditional phenomenology and a phenomenological account of queerness, and suggests that our ways of 'being in the world' are very much a 'matter' of 'orientation', of which way we 'face', of the objects and others that therefore come into view and appear within 'reach', and the possibilities for action and desire thus opened up. With detailed reference to Cracks (Jordan Scott, 2009), I suggest that an acknowledgement of embodied differences - differences in the ways in which we are situated and orientated in the world - opens up significant critical and analytical possibilities. It allows us to provide more comprehensive, as well as specific, accounts of the sense-ibilities of various representational context and the kinds of embodied and sensuous pleasures thus on offer, with regard to cinema and beyond.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: Publisher allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies, #2 by Amsterdam University Press with the following policy: The author stays the owner of the copyright on his own work.
Affiliation: Communications, Media and Culture

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