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The New Feminist Literary Studies presents sixteen essays by leading and emerging scholars that examine contemporary feminism and the most pressing issues of today. The book is divided into three sections. This first section , 'Frontiers', contains essays on issues and phenomena that may be considered, if not new, then newly and sometimes uneasily prominent in the public eye: transfeminism, the sexual violence highlighted by #MeToo, Black motherhood, migration, sex worker rights, and celebrity feminism. Essays in the second section, 'Fields', specifically intervene into long-constituted or relatively new academic fields and areas of theory: disability studies, eco-theory, queer studies, and Marxist feminism. Finally, the third section, 'Forms', is dedicated to literary genres and tackles novels of domesticity, feminist dystopias, young adult fiction, feminist manuals and manifestos, memoir, and poetry. Together these essays provide new interventions into the thinking and theorising of contemporary feminism.
Chapter 1 examines autobiographical accounts of rape in Tracey Emin’s Strangeland (2005), Jana Leo’s Rape New York (2009), and Virginie Despentes’s King Kong Theory (2006). Starting with Emin’s naming and shaming of her rapist as feminist praxis, the chapter continues by focusing upon the powerfully political messages about rape and its social significance delivered by Leo and Despentes. The close readings I offer in this chapter demonstrate that what may initially be recognised as factual descriptions of violence are accounts skilfully crafted to deliver maximum intensity, or what I term ‘affective audacity’. This is channelled to persuade the reader to agree with the wider societal arguments they make. The chapter pays considerable attention to the formal and rhetorical structure of what I describe as ‘body-essays’ to argue that Leo and Despentes repurpose their sexual traumas to argue against social inequality, and that all three authors exhibit new audacity in their resistance of victimhood and refusal of silence.
A short afterward suggests the new audacity archive can be expanded through the inclusion of other writers not tackled in this text and that we will need feminism’s new audacity in these troubled times.
Chapter 2 is concerned with the role of the writer as artist. It focuses on three auto/biographical texts which document the ugly difficulties of writing the self: Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? (2012), Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be? (2012), and Kate Zambreno’s Heroines (2012). None of these texts is a pure autobiography: Bechdel’s graphic memoir follows her psychotherapeutic unravelling of her relationship with her mother; Heti’s ‘novel from life’ recounts a crucial friendship between Sheila and her artist friend Margaux; and Kate Zambreno’s Heroines is part memoir, part biographical essay about female writers such as Virginia Woolf, Vivien(e) Eliot, and Zelda Fitzgerald, who she dubs the ‘mad wives’ of modernism. All three texts are interested in female genius and tell of the unravelling of the self from others en route to becoming an artist. I argue that ugliness is crucial to their aesthetic projects: the ugliness of the self and its secrets, the ugliness of writer’s block, the ugliness of betrayal, and the ugly terrain of genius.
In the introduction I define the term ‘new audacity’ as the recent refusal of shame, silence, and a boldness in tackling difficult topics in life-writing by feminists. I introduce the authors I will be studying, define feminism for the project, and discuss the history of experimental feminist life-writing and new audacity’s precurssors. I also show how new audacity writing is different to French autofiction, new narrative, and the new sincerity, and provide a chapter summary.
Chapter 4 analyses recent writing by and about trans people with a twofold aim: to examine how they challenge binary thinking, and to explore their understanding of how gender identity interacts with and is circumscribed by heteropatriarchal capitalist institutions and norms. I examine how Juliet Jacques’ Trans: A Memoir (2015) and ‘Weekend in Brighton’ (2015), Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts (2015), and Paul Preciado’s Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era (2013) abandon the tradition within earlier trans life-writing of focusing upon transition as the dramatic apex of the narrative. In different manners, all of these writers are arguing for an expansion of the term ‘trans’. In the case of Nelson and Preciado this extends, controversially, to name other states of flux, such as the pregnant female body or the flow of information and data. This chapter examines these audacious attempts to both naturalise and expand ‘trans’, as well as Jacques’s dedramatizing prose, arguing that these writers testify to a new twenty-first-century understanding of gender identity from which feminism, social behaviour, and societal organisation can be reappraised.
Vanessa Place is one of this volume’s more notorious authors. I examine Place’s Tragodía (2010-11), a three-volume publication reproducing court reports written as part of her job as an appellant attorney for convicted rapists and paedophiles. Poetry scholars have hailed the project as a work of audacious feminism. This chapter provides careful comparisons of one of Tragodía’s cases with the original legal appeals documents from which it is drawn and another, non-poetic work by Place, The Guilt Project. I argue that Place’s conceptual audacity complicates and works against her stated feminist politics vis-à-vis the sex workers in the trial. Place provides a highly curated encounter with traumatic material, one which raises ethical questions about audacity’s role in furthering an author’s reputation and how that interacts with her stated feminist position. I use this final chapter to explore the ambivalences and contradictions in the politics of one particularly contentious new audacity author. Taken together, these chapters provide a guide to the contours of new audacity writing, its stakes, its politics, its contradictions, and its challenges to contemporary orthodoxies.
Chapter 3 focuses upon sex and desire. It examines voluntary vulnerability as desired and experienced by heterosexual women, an area which has been largely neglected because of vulnerability’s association with victimhood and sexual exploitation in feminist discourse. The audacity of expressing a desire to sexually submit to a man, not for conservative reasons but for those of sexual adventure, is exacerbated if that woman is a feminist. To publish these desires and experiences as one’s first book is more audacious still. I focus on Katherine Angel’s Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell (2012), Chris Kraus’s I Love Dick (1997), and Marie Calloway’s what purpose did i serve in your life (2013) to explore the significance of women who makes themselves vulnerable to the men they desire.
Contemporary Feminist Life-Writing is the first volume to identify and analyse the 'new audacity' of recent feminist writings from life. Characterised by boldness in both style and content, willingness to explore difficult and disturbing experiences, the refusal of victimhood, and a lack of respect for traditional genre boundaries, new audacity writing takes risks with its author's and others' reputations, and even, on occasion, with the law. This book offers an examination and critical assessment of new audacity in works by Katherine Angel, Alison Bechdel, Marie Calloway, Virginie Despentes, Tracey Emin, Sheila Heti, Juliet Jacques, Chris Krauss, Jana Leo, Maggie Nelson, Vanessa Place, Paul Preciado, and Kate Zambreno. It analyses how they write about women's self-authorship, trans experiences, struggles with mental illness, sexual violence and rape, and the desire for sexual submission. It engages with recent feminist and gender scholarship, providing discussions of vulnerability, victimhood, authenticity, trauma, and affect.
Conceptual models (CMs) are useful tools for researchers and health technology assessment bodies to understand the interplay among environmental characteristics (e.g., health care system), patient characteristics, health behaviors, and patient outcomes. The objective of this pilot study was to elicit perspectives of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and health care providers (HCPs) to develop a patient-centered CM of the AF patient experience in a US-based sample.
We developed two preliminary versions of the Andersen model of healthcare utilization (standard and patient-friendly versions) based on the published literature and the help of a patient advisor. For example, instead of describing “predisposing characteristics,” the patient-friendly CM describes, “what is it about me, or other afib patients that could impact disease or outcomes;” “enabling resources” is swapped for “helpful resources,” and “perceived need” is changed to “what impacts whether I believe I need to be treated”. Five patients from an online patient community and 10 HCPs from the University of Maryland Medical System provided feedback on the preliminary models. Audio recordings of interviews were transcribed verbatim, analyzed, and findings incorporated into a revised CM.
Interviewee additions under “what impacts whether I believe I need to be treated” included: absence of symptoms and fear of experiencing an AF episode; under “helpful resources” suggested additions include resources for navigating insurer formulary/benefits. Suggested additional outcomes of interest include anxiety, bruising, and shortness-of-breath. While patients found the patient-friendly version easy to understand, HCPs required explanation of standard-version headers, for example ‘predisposing characteristics’ and ‘enabling resources’, which had been adapted in the patient-friendly version.
Soliciting input from stakeholders ensures CMs are pragmatic, reflect the real-world experiences of patients and HCPs, and incorporate variables or other considerations not currently described in published literature. Researchers can utilize CMs to aid in selection of variables for observational studies.
Archaeological fieldwork preceding housing development revealed a Mesolithic site in a primary context. A central hearth was evident from a cluster of calcined flint and bone, the latter producing a modelled date for the start of occupation at 8220–7840 cal bc and ending at 7960–7530 cal bc (95% probability). The principal activity was the knapping of bladelets, the blanks for microlith production. Impact-damaged microliths indicated the re-tooling of hunting weaponry, while microwear analysis of other tools demonstrated hide working and butchery activity at the site. The lithics can be classified as a Honey Hill assemblage type on the basis of distinctive leaf-shaped microlithic points with inverse basal retouch.
Such assemblages have a known concentration in central England and are thought to be temporally intermediate between the conventional British Early and Late Mesolithic periods. The lithic assemblage is compared to other Honey Hill type and related Horsham type assemblages from south-eastern England. Both assemblage types are termed Middle Mesolithic and may be seen as part of wider developments in the late Preboreal and Boreal periods of north-west Europe. Rapid climatic warming at this time saw the northward expansion of deciduous woodland into north-west Europe. Emerging new ecosystems presented changes in resource patterns and the Middle Mesolithic lithic typo-technological developments reflect novel foraging strategies as adaptations to the new opportunities of Boreal forest conditions. While Honey Hill-type assemblages are seen as part of such wider processes their distinctive typological signature attests to autochthonous, regional developments of human groups infilling the landscape. Such cultural insularity may reflect changing social boundaries with reduction in mobility range and physical isolation caused by rising sea level and the creation of the British archipelago.
Family caregivers of people living with dementia can have both positive and negative experiences of caregiving. Despite this, existing outcome measures predominately focus on negative aspects of caregiving such as burden and depression. This review aimed to evaluate the development and psychometric properties of existing positive psychology measures for family caregivers of people living with dementia to determine their potential utility in research and practice.
A systematic review of positive psychology outcome measures for family caregivers of people with dementia was conducted. The databases searched were as follows: PsychINFO, CINAHL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed. Scale development papers were subject to a quality assessment to appraise psychometric properties.
Twelve positive outcome measures and six validation papers of these scales were identified. The emerging constructs of self-efficacy, spirituality, resilience, rewards, gain, and meaning are in line with positive psychology theory.
There are some robust positive measures in existence for family caregivers of people living with dementia. However, lack of reporting of the psychometric properties hindered the quality assessment of some outcome measures identified in this review. Future research should aim to include positive outcome measures in interventional research to facilitate a greater understanding of the positive aspects of caregiving and how these contribute to well-being.
This chapter will begin with a focus on a particular subtopic within the shared representations research domain: imitation. Imitation occurs when the perception of another’s actions causes the activation of the corresponding motor representation in the observer. Thus imitation relates to shared representations in that it concerns the activation of a self-related representation by an other-related representation. In this chapter, I will use examples from the autism spectrum conditions (ASCs) literature to argue that if either the self- or other-related representation is atypical this can result in atypical imitation. In other words, if action observation or action execution mechanisms are atypical, then imitation will be affected. I will conclude this chapter by drawing on research that extends this logic to other sociocognitive domains such as empathy and to conditions such as schizophrenia and alexithymia.