Saturday, 5 May 2012

Summary of May's Meeting

On Wednesday Anna Hope guided us through the strange world of 'Bizarro' fiction and Foucault's essay 'Of Other Spaces'. The texts provoked plenty of questions, including: how 'bizarre' really is Bizarro? What kinds of conservative assumptions and messages might actually lurk within the genre? How does the genre- and Carlton Mellick in particular - treat the female body? Do these authors encourage particular reading practices? Can any kind of dialogue be opened up between these authors and theorists or academics?

Foucault's text allowed us to think about the female body in Mellick's The Haunted Vagina as a type of 'heterotopia', which in turn made us ask whether the text positions the female body as a 'deviant' space. It also led us to discuss Foucault's notions of 'real' and 'unreal' spaces, and to ask to what extent the virtual worlds evident in texts such as Mellick's challenge or complement Foucault's thesis.

Thanks to all who attended our penultimate session. On the 18th we will bring 'Spaces in Theory' to a close with our trip to Shandy Hall.

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