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Open Access 2022 | Open Access | Book

Cover of the book

Revisualising Intersectionality

Authors: Prof. Dr. Elahe Haschemi Yekani, Prof. Magdalena Nowicka, Tiara Roxanne

Publisher: Springer International Publishing


About this book

Revisualising Intersectionality offers transdisciplinary interrogations of the supposed visual evidentiality of categories of human similarity and difference. This open-access book incorporates insights from social and cognitive science as well as psychology and philosophy to explain how we visually perceive physical differences and how cognition is fallible, processual, and dependent on who is looking in a specific context. Revisualising Intersectionality also puts into conversation visual culture studies and artistic research with approaches such as gender, queer, and trans studies as well as postcolonial and decolonial theory to complicate simplified notions of identity politics and cultural representation. The book proposes a revision of intersectionality research to challenge the predominance of categories of visible difference such as race and gender as analytical lenses.

Table of Contents


Open Access

Chapter 1. Introduction: Revisualising Intersectionality
The introduction to Revisualising Intersectionality explains the proposal for a revisualising of intersectionality as a double strategy of revising intersectionality and infusing it with a stronger focus on visual perceptions of similarity and difference to understand social stratification and inequality. Haschemi Yekani and Nowicka briefly situate the book within what by now has become the transdisciplinary field of intersectionality studies.
Elahe Haschemi Yekani, Magdalena Nowicka

Open Access

Chapter 2. Where Difference Begins
This chapter engages with seeing as a socio-cultural process and asks if it is possible to see beyond established categories. Nowicka illustrates how people struggle to order others into neatly delineated groups related to their gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. Drawing on research from cognitive science and philosophy, the chapter investigates how we arrive from a messy sensory visual experience to discrete social categories. Thereby, the central interest of this chapter is the question how we could arrive at categories that better correspond to the intersectional experience of being in the world. Finally, the chapter points to the central role of attention and discusses the significance of the scientific gaze and the potential of artistic enquiry for a more intersectional form of seeing.
Magdalena Nowicka

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Chapter 3. Revisualising Intersectionality: Conversations
Roxanne introduces the “conversations” format which combined methods of artistic research and instigated the transdisciplinary research undergirding the publication of Revisualising Intersectionality. Although each conversation was dedicated to one concept, namely trans*, sameness, perception, and intimacy, in the chapter, Roxanne explains how they are all positioned as epistemologies that challenge binaries (e.g., queer theory) and categorisation (e.g., critical race theory). Via readings of Doireann O’Malley’s film Prototypes and Stephanie Comilang’s sci-fi documentary Lumapit Sa Akin, Paraiso (Come to Me, Paradise), Roxanne draws attention to how visuality influences the presentation of bodies across structural and societal paradigms and how our external experience is based on visual sense-making.
Tiara Roxanne

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Chapter 4. The Ends of Visibility
Following an introduction to the field of visual culture studies and the idea of revisualising intersectionality, Haschemi Yekani draws on different forms of media use, artistic practice, and everyday visual culture to problematise notions of difference that rely on a binary of invisibility and visibility. Haschemi Yekani argues that the question of in/visibility needs to go beyond superficially diverse representation and also concerns technological development and a reflection of how media operate within global postcolonial networks of capital. Via discussions of “colour blindness” and “bathroom panic”, the chapter reflects the potential of artistic practice to contribute to a queering and transing of identification and the image repertoire. This includes post-representational artistic practice, strategies of disidentification as well as forms of refusing representation altogether.
Elahe Haschemi Yekani

Open Access

Chapter 5. Conclusion: Revising Intersectionality
In the conclusion of Revisualising Intersectionality, Nowicka and Haschemi Yekani underscore the need for a transdisciplinary revision of the visual anchoring of difference in scientific knowledge production. In cognitive and psychological research, the habitual use of gender or race as categories that can be accessed by relying on visual inputs needs to be questioned. In the social sciences, a careful analysis of scopic regimes of difference can help overcome simplifications both of social constructivism and of biological determinism. In analyses of cultural representation, circular explanatory models of stereotypes producing “bad images” which would be alleviated through “positive images” should be avoided. To this end, the authors suggest learning from artistic research and practice to assume another point of view and disrupt preconceived orders.
Magdalena Nowicka, Elahe Haschemi Yekani
Revisualising Intersectionality
Prof. Dr. Elahe Haschemi Yekani
Prof. Magdalena Nowicka
Tiara Roxanne
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Electronic ISBN
Print ISBN