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Gender Studies Seminar: Karina Eileraas (Univ. of Southern California)

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GENDER STUDIES SEMINAR

 

Revolution Undressed: The Politics of Rage and Aesthetics in Aliaa Elmahdy’s Body Activism

 

Karina Eileraas

(Univ. of Southern California)

 

 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

14:40  FASS 2034

 

 

Abstract:
Karina Eileraas analyzes Egyptian Aliaa Elmahdy’s nude blogging. She argues that this activism may be read as a performance of rage against the status quo. Elmahdy brought sex to Tahrir Square on her own terms, injecting herself onto the geopolitical scene as a gendered and sexualized subject, activist, and artist.
Elmahdy’s “affective body” (body that feels) surrenders full control, magnifies vulnerability, and exposes her to potential sexual harassment and violence in real time and space. Conversely, her “cyber body” seduces a voyeuristic audience while performing in the time and space of her choosing. Elmahdy, Eileraas argues, transforms “the photographic field into a space of possibility wherein she writes herself into history as a political and sexual agent."