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Talking Back and Acting Out

Women Negotiating the Media Across Cultures


Sandra Jackson and Ann M. Russo

Talking Back and Acting Out is a collection of writing by women who actively negotiate, reconstruct, and re-imagine their identities in opposition to dominant cultural constructions. Stories in the mass media often reduce women to stereotypes grounded in ideas about social class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and nationality. These media images are not only limiting, but the stories are often couched in victimization and powerlessness. This collection explores individual women’s refusal to be reduced to hegemonic constructions, prescribed identities, and limited possibilities. These essays highlight stories of women who push the boundaries of what it means to be a woman in this multicultural, yet white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist society. Talking Back and Acting Out offers stories of women’s resistance against the odds – women who have not only survived but thrived, and who have not only made a difference in their own lives but in the lives of others.
Contents: Sandra Jackson/Ann Russo: Introduction – Sandra Jackson: Encounters with Simulacra: The Media, Representations of Blackness, and Me – Elena Tajima Creef: Childhood Reflections from a Shattered Mirror: Looking for Images of Strong Asian Women – Marilyn Katz: Snapshots – Harvette Grey: Images of Beauty: The Media, Marilyn, and Me – Juana Q. Goergen: A Través del Espejo (Through the Looking Glass) – Elizabeth A. Kelly: You Could Throw Them Away without Breaking Your Heart: My Life in Magazines – Layla P. Suleiman Gonzalez: Mirada de Mujer: Negotiating Latina Identities and the Telenovela – Kate Kane: What Puts the «Me» in Media? An Umphaloskeptic Interrogation of Television and Identity – Shailja Sharma: Kamasutra – Lynn Lu: A Tangled Web – Elizabeth Jean Nelson: Before and After: A Story of Resistance – Erica Meiners: Contradictions at the Cook County Jail: Snapshots on the Complexities of Volunteering for Social Change – Lourdes Torres: Becoming Visible: U.S. Latina Lesbians Talk Back and Act Out – Francesca T. Royster: Everyday Use, or How I Stole Othello and What I Did with Him – Laila Farah: Living in the Hyphen-Nation – Ann Russo: Stories of Survival, Stories of Resistance.