Gwendolyn Audrey Foster's
CAPTIVE BODIES: POSTCOLONIAL SUBJECTIVITY IN CINEMA
"Foster's text is audacious in its conceptualization and treatment of cultural 'captivity.' Through her discussion not only of film texts but alos of modes of film production, she identifies and examines the various expressions, both containing and transgressive, of the narrative of captivity that rae bound to culturally pervasive representations of gender, sexuality, and race." -- Marcia Landy, author of The Folklore of Consensus: Theatricality in the Italian Cinema, 1930-1943.
Captive Bodies examines the film industry's fascination with bondage and captivity, seeking to revisualize American cinema through the lens of critical discourse on captivity narratives, slave narratives, and postcolonial critiques of cinematic constructions of "whiteness," blackness," gender and sexuality. Captivity is also examined here in relation to both those in front and behind the camera. Are we "subject" to others? Are we "bound" and "captive" in images? Are we "captive" bodies and "captive" audiences, held hostage to the spectacles of voyeuristic pleasure? Are those behind the camera involved in a process not unlike that of the slave system, ensalving the body in the image? To answer these and other questions, Captive Bodies draws upon a wide range of critical methodologies, including postcolonial studies, feminist film criticism, anthropology, and phenomenology.
"Captive Bodies is a liberating volume, freeing both the body and mind from, in Foster's words, 'overdetermined assumptions about sexualities, race, and gender,' and, I might add, literary and film genres. Foster offers sensuality and refinement in her analyses, merging passion and the mind. While often humorous, this study treats the somber subject of captivity with an appreciated measure of sobriety. An ambitious, bold work that will repay return visits. -- Edward T. Jones, Chair, Department of English, York College of Pennsylvania.
Gwendolyn Audrey Foster is a Professor of Film Studies in the Department of English, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, specializing in Film Studies, Cultural Studies, and Postfeminist Critical Theory. Her many books include books include Class-Passing: Social Mobility in Film and Popular Culture (Southern Illinois University Press, 2005); Performing Whiteness: Postmodern Re/Constructions (State University of New York Press, 2003); and Identity and Memory: The Films of Chantal Akerman (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003). Foster’s book Performing Whiteness: Postmodern Re/Constructions was cited by the journal Choice as “Essential . . . one of the Outstanding Academic Books of the Year” for 2004.