I Can Sell My Body If I Wanna: Riot Grrrl Body Writing, Feminist Resistance, and Neoliberalism: An Illustrated Lecture with Leah Perry
Date: Thursday, July 28th
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215
Tickets Here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2550151
This talk will consider the Riot Grrrl punk subculture of the 1990s and frontwoman Kathleen Hanna’s uses of the body to explore the perils and possibilities of an individualist feminist revolution. Riot Grrrl’s goal was to combat patriarchy in the punk scene and in the world.
The talk will focus on word reclamation via body writing and sex work, to examine how Riot Grrrl attempted to use embodied performances of shamelessness to resist patriarchy and the brutalities of neoliberal capitalism, and how this drew on and reacted to earlier feminist movements. It will also explore how Riot Grrrl performance inadvertently embraced neoliberal tropes. In overlooking white privilege and also middle-class privilege in their use of the body, Riot Grrrls supported (or at least failed to undermine) neoliberal hegemony; these performances, alternative youth culture for some, both worked against and from within the structures of neoliberalism.
The talk will also investigate the productive potential (if any) of performing shamelessness, with the hope of generating a discussion around the possibilities of feminist resistance via shamelessness and the body. Can performing shamelessness with body writing (and more broadly, as with SlutWalk and sex work) be revised or reconstituted to be truly accessible—that is, a viable option for more than just middle-class white women—and thus truly effective in counteracting racism, patriarchy, and neoliberal capitalism?
Leah Perry is Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at SUNY-Empire State College. She received her doctorate from George Mason University’s Cultural Studies program, a Master’s of Arts from New York University in Humanities and Social Thought, a second Master’s of Arts and Religion from Yale Divinity School, and a Bachelor’s in English from Manhattanville College (magna cum laude). Her research and teaching interests encompass gender and sexuality, American Studies, immigration, race and ethnicity, and media and popular culture. She is the author of The Cultural Politics of U.S. Immigration: Gender, Race, and Media (New York University Press, forthcoming 2016). Her work can also be seen in journals such as Cultural Studies and Lateral, and in the book collections Cultural Studies and the ‘Juridical Turn’: Culture, Law, and Legitimacy in the Era of Neoliberal Capitalism (Routledge, 2016) and American Shame: Stigma and the Body Politic (University of Indiana Press, 2016).
Tickets are non-refundable unless the event is canceled.