n English in Africa - "Paling by comparison?" : scopophilic desire(s) and un/settling hegemonic whiteness in Elleke Boehmer's Bloodlines
|Article Title||"Paling by comparison?" : scopophilic desire(s) and un/settling hegemonic whiteness in Elleke Boehmer's Bloodlines|
|© Publisher:||Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA)|
|Journal||English in Africa|
|Author||M. (Jennifer) Schmidt|
|Publication Date||May 2010|
|Pages||93 - 102|
Feminist film critic E. Ann Kaplan reminds us that we are all caught up in the binarism involved in looking, and constructed through (amongst other cultural scripts) a gendered, racialized, and classed spectatorship : "The question is how to move beyond the literal fact of subject-object looking, with its necessarily objectifying implications. How can people move to an understanding of subjectivity and mutuality on the level of approaching an Other" (299). This article focuses on the role looking relations play in the gendering of post-apartheid whiteness, and analyzes the overdetermined visibility of white South African women, who historically have been positioned as the object of visual pleasure and a 'sexy' reinforcer of white privilege. Given the particular visibility of South African whiteness (see Steyn 163), I argue that the young white female subject's body becomes a site that mediates hegemonic whiteness and interrogates white privilege through her now-precarious role as a 'star' for the gaze of the dominant culture.
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