2016FallSymposiumURCreativityEngagement has ended
Tuesday, December 6 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Kim Kardashian And The Interruption Of The Male Gaze In The Historic Female Self Portraits Of The Countess de Castiglione

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Due to technical restrictions in the developing years of the camera and other photographic equipment, landscapes and still-lives were the preferred style. It was easier to take a long exposure and still get a crisp image of a still landscape than of a person, as people tend to move. Advancements, such as the invention of the first portrait lens in 1840, made portraiture the style to envy. Having a photographic portrait taken was not only a cheaper alternative to sitting for a painted portrait and took significantly less time, it eventually became reproducible. When photographic technology became widely accessible as a result of the unpatented wet-collodion process, self portraits became a way for people to visualize their own impressions of themselves, and immortalize those impressions. Self portraits by women are particularly intriguing because of the way they are able to interrupt the male gaze simply by acting as both viewer and viewed. By looking at disruptions of the male gaze in the self-directed portraits from the 19th century Countess of Castiglione and comparing them to the mirror selfies of 21st century Kim Kardashian, this paper will examine the way cultural continuity helps us understand so-called vanity as a means to the personal reclamation of the female body.


Tuesday December 6, 2016 1:20pm - 1:40pm
237 Owen Hall

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