School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Research Publications
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ItemNo Preview Available'To exercise a beneficial influence over a man': marriage, gender and the native institutions in early colonial AustraliaCRUICKSHANK, JOANNA (eScholarship Research Centre in collaboration with the School of Historical Studies and with the assistance of Melbourne University Bookshop, 2008)This chapter examines understandings of marriage among missionaries and humanitarians connected with two early colonial ‘Native Institutions’. A comparison of the Parramatta Native Institution in New South Wales and the Albany Native Institution in Western Australia demonstrates that concerns about marriage were central in discussions about the formation and maintenance of these Institutions. Both of these Institutions were established and supported by British evangelicals, who had brought with them to Australia powerful assumptions about gender roles, particularly in marriage. These assumptions influenced their decisions regarding the children who resided in the Native Institutions. Within specific colonial contexts, however, the assumptions of humanitarians and missionaries did not remain static, and debates over the futures of the Aboriginal children they sought to educate reveal complex and shifting hierarchies of race, gender and class.
ItemMuscles, hybrids and new bad futuresNDALIANIS, ANGELA ( 1994)Since Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone made their respective debuts onto the cinematic screen the muscle phenomenon has become a dominant factor in the cinema of the 1980s and 1990s. Muscle, in all its hard and sweaty glory, has found a market especially in the big budget extravaganzas whose narratives centre around the spectacle of the built bodies of male stars such as Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Lundgren, Van Damme, Snipes and Seagal, and the more padded forms of actors such as Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson. This new brand of cinema whilst harking back in part to an American tradition of genre cinema (the Western, Detective films, War Films etc.) appears to owe more to genres that emerged outside America: the Italian `gladiator' pictures of the 1950s and 1960s which retold the adventures of Hercules and other mythic heroes via the forms of bodybuilding stars such as Steve Reeves and Reg Park; and the martial arts action films popularized by Hong Kong Cinema and which found a very profitable market in the West ‐ and which also saw the migration of the genre into American cinema starring a series of martial arts experts including Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Jean‐Claude van Damme. Both genres revealed an unabashed display of the spectacle of action and the spectacle of the male body in action. The camera found any excuse to unapolegetically caress the bodies of the stars with pans, tracks and close‐ups of various fragmented body parts in ways that always denoted strength, agility and power.
ItemMuscle, excess and rupture: female bodybuilding and gender constructionNDALIANIS, ANGELA ( 1995-02)In recent years bodybuilding culture has provided the backdrop to a series of debates centering around issues surrounding representations of gender and in particular the potential inherent in bodybuilding bodies to rupture preconceived notions regarding 'norms' of masculinity and femininity; for the meticulously controlled, predetermined construction and definition of mass and muscle on the bodybuilding figure has shifted the body from an arena dominated by assumptions centering around the natural to a sphere which exposes the body itself - and with it the power structures that impose meaning onto it - as informed by culture. The bodybuilding physique reveals the body as a socially determined construct, or to cite Kuhn, with the willed construction of bodies in bodybuilding, 'nature becomes culture'. (Kuhn 1988, 5) The question of marketability has, over the years, emerged as a key concern in bodybuilding. Of all sports, due to its tendency towards things excessive, bodybuilding tends to stand outside the mainstream appealing primarily to a select, cult following. There have been some exceptions of bodybuilders who successfully escaped the margins and entered mainstream culture, the most successful being Arnold Schwarzenegger (seven time Mr. Olympia) who opened the doors to big-time muscle in action cinema. More recently, female muscle has also started to make itself felt in the popular sphere, with Cory Everson (six time winner of the Ms. Olympia) appearing in films such as Double Impact alongside Jean Claude van Damme, and professional bodybuilders Raye Hollitt, Shelley Beattie and Tonya Knight starring in the successful U.S. television show American Gladiators. Despite breaking through to mainstream culture, however, these bodybuilders have served as examples of 'freaks' in a world of 'norms'; they signal a moment of excess allowed to seep through into the dominant, but these moments are always about controlled forms of excess - they, in a sense, constitute an orderly disruption.
ItemBaby bitches from hell: monstrous little women in filmCREED, BARBARA (Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2005)The Surrealists were fascinated by what they perceived as the dual nature of the little girl, her propensity for innocence and evil. This theme has also proven an enduring one in the history of the cinema and provided the basis for many acclaimed films from The Innocents to Lolita. The view of the female child as particularly close to the non-material world of fantasy and the imagination was central to the beliefs of the Surrealists. They regarded childhood as "the privileged age in which imaginative faculties were still à l’état sauvage – sensitive to all kinds of impressions and associations which education would systematically 'correct'". "Dissecting mystery is like violating a child", Bunuel was fond of saying.' In the 1924 Manifesto, Breton claimed, "The spirit which takes the plunge into Surrealism exultantly relives the best of its childhood."
ItemLucio Fontana: the post-Fascist masculine figureWhite, Anthony ( 2005)The ‘cut’ paintings of the Italian artist Lucio Fontana (1899 – 1968) are intensely sexual objects. For many viewers, their rawly coloured surfaces ruptured by deep vertical gashes strongly evoke female genitalia. Fontana’s violent cutting of the canvas has also been compared to the muscular gestures of male ‘action’ painters such as Jackson Pollock. What such interpretations fail to grasp, however, is the critique of gender identity, and in particular masculine identity, at the heart of Fontana’s work. However, as I will show, Fontana relied on an inversion of diametrically opposed notions of maleness and femaleness rather than any deconstruction of the opposition itself. As I outline in my paper, Fontana’s critique first emerges in the artist’s depictions of the male body immediately after Italy’s military defeat in WWII. Fontana’s limp and mangled clay warriors splashed with oozing layers of reflective glaze directly challenge the hard, ballistic ideal of the masculine body theorized in the proto-fascist writings of the Italian Futurist poet Filippo Tomasso Marinetti. Drawing on the work of Hal Foster and Jeffrey Schnapp on the representation of fascist masculinity, I argue that Fontana developed an alternative model of maleness to that encountered in the official culture of Mussolini’s Italy. Accordingly, as I also demonstrate, his work gives insight into the extraordinary transformations in male body imagery that took place in avant-garde and official cultural circles in Italy during the first half of the 20th century.