vol 29 - 2003 Cover35-2 Cover35-3

This issue of Feminist Studies focuses on embodiment, one of the central but also one of the most controversial areas of feminist research and activism. Most feminists would agree that female bodies–in their social, sexual, medical, legal, and economic contexts–have always been in some way at the heart of feminist endeavors. But how those bodies are imagined, and even more crucially, how ideas about the differences between bodies play out in feminist theory and practice, is much harder to pin down. Hagar Kotef points out in this issue that an abstract notion of “woman” has always underpinned liberal feminism, but how does this abstract woman relate to the sacred essence of womanhood discussed in Jennie Klein’s essay on Goddess art and spirituality or to the experiences of the differently sexed and gendered people whose voices we hear in Evelyn Blackwood’s article or in Amanda Lock Swarr’s research?
  The construction of the female body always involves the policing of it, as all our authors make clear. For example, Swarr’s research, based on interviews conducted in Soweto, Johannesburg, and Cape Town, investigates the assumption that for black South Africans, lesbian and gay identities and sexuality accompany a dually sexed biology known as stabane in Zulu and “intersex” in English. In “Stabane, Inter­sexuality, and Same-Sex Relationships in South Africa,” Swarr argues that the surveillance and violent regulation of those suspected of being stabane are deeply imbedded in colonial histories of racialization. “Corporeal expectations of both sex and race have been violently policed and used to justify imperialism. Such concepts have concrete effects because they establish norms about possible ways to be–in a body or in a sexual relationship.” Swarr traces incidents of overreporting of intersex births in black communities during apartheid, which “extends earlier connections between racist science and intersexuality by using claims of the common occurrence of intersexed bodies among black South Africans to reinforce assertions of racial difference and white superiority.” Swarr’s research comes in the aftermath of homophobic and gender-based hate crimes in South Africa during which accusations of stabane status were invoked. This phenomenon leads Swarr to conclude: “Sex is in crisis and violence is articulating its borders. Concerns related to stabane illustrate constantly shifting ideas of gender and sexuality in South Africa. {READ MORE as PDF }

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Evelyn Blackwood
Trans Identities and Contingent Masculinities:
Being Tombois in Everyday Practice

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Jackie Cornog
Game Roles Sestina (Poetry)
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Libby Ware
The Circuit (Fiction)
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Hagar Kotef
On Abstractness: First Wave Liberal Feminism and
Construction of the Abstract Woman
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Natasha Marin
Adolescence, or Through the Fire (Poetry)
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Amanda Lock Swarr
“Stabane,” Intersexuality, and Same-Sex
Relationships in South Africa
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Barbara Sjoholm
What We Want: The Art of
Marie Luplau and Emilie Mundt

(Art Essay)
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Camille Norton
August Afternoons at the Love/Art Laboratory (Poetry)
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Jennie Klein
Goddess: Feminist Art and Spirituality in the 1970s
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Michele White
Networked Bodies and Extended Corporealities:
Theorizing the Relationship between the Body,
Embodiment, and Contemporary New Media
(Review Essay)
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Don Mee Choi
Instructions from the Inner Room;
From Noon--To All Surviving Butterflies
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Sunaina Maira
“Good” and “Bad” Muslim Citizens:
Feminists, Terrorists, and U.S. Orientalisms
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Amanda Lock Swarr with Sally Gross and Liesl Theron
South African Intersex Activism:
Caster Semenya’s Impact and Import
(News and Views)
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Notes on Contributors
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Guidelines for Contributors
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Publications Received
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Cover Art
Front: Emilie Mundt, Marie Luplau Maler i Skoven (Marie Luplau Painting in the Forest), 1863.
Back Cover Art
Emilie Mundt, Malerinde og Barn i Atelieret (Painter and Child in the Studio), 1893.


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