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  • 2018.RachelFox.PhD

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  • 2018.RachelFox.PhD.Internal

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Frames and cuts: post-millennial representations of West Asian female identities

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Published
Publication date2018
Number of pages291
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Publisher
  • Lancaster University
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This thesis investigates visual and written representations of West Asian female identities, and intersects with the fields of postcolonial feminist literary studies, cultural visual studies, and studies in affect theory. More specifically, I examine representations of Afghan and Iranian women in the post-millennial period, against a background of a continually shifting geo-political climate, especially following the terrorist attacks in the US on 11 September 2001. Given the ever-changing topography of media and information dissemination in the post-millennial period, this project is interdisciplinary and considers visual, written, and hybrid media.
My distinctive contribution to the aforementioned fields of study is the introduction of the conceptual model of remediated witnessing, which focuses both on the witnessed individual and on the acts of witnessing and recording as reiterative processes. This thesis uses the model of remediated witnessing in an examination of the various media that frames West Asian female identities. I critically examine how women are ascribed to the following categories: Subaltern, Spokesperson, Mother, and Martyr. In my examination of these categories, I explore the ways that West Asian women are represented: in the face of global marketing and publishing trends, especially following 11 September 2001 and US military intervention in Afghanistan (Chapters Two and Three); and in consideration of familial and societal structures and acts of protest in Iran and Afghanistan (Chapters Four and Five). Using the model of remediated witnessing as a deconstructive tool, I negotiate the relationship between subject(ed) and agential positions as it applies to represented West Asian female identities. I suggest that the combined acts of performance, witnessing, and recording are layered, framed, and reframed from different angles. I argue that by cutting through or intersecting with these frames, a space can be created from which represented female identities can occupy both subject(ed) and agential positions.