Event Title

The Visual Rhetoric of Women’s Tattoos: Constructing Identity, Reclaiming Power, and Writing a New Feminism through the Carnivalesque

Presenter Information

Sonya Gonzales

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

College

College of Art & Letters

Major

English

Session Number

3

Location

Event Center BC

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Alexandra Cavallaro

Juror Names

Moderator: Dr. Victoria Seitz

Start Date

5-18-2017 4:50 PM

End Date

5-18-2017 5:10 PM

Abstract

As a visual rhetoric, tattoos provide a means for women to claim power and agency over their selves and their bodies, destabilizing the conventional expectations of women as passive, through their socially constructed narratives, in the creation and interpretation of the written artifact that is the tattoo. In this presentation, I will show that studying tattoos as a visual rhetoric through the carnivalesque can change the way we view composition and writing studies, creating a capacity for change in rhetoric and writing, studying tattoos as a visual text. I propose that tattooed women exist in a carnivalesque liminality between binaries – masculine or feminine, conformist or marginalized – oscillating between the traditional world, in which women might feel pressured to hide their tattoos or risk ridicule, and an unconventional world, in which they reveal their true selves through the visual texts written on their bodies. Tattoos can facilitate how we interpret tattooed women’s creation of identities and occupancy of a liminal space between dominant society and tattoo culture, constructing an embodied feminism in the images inscribed on their bodies and changing the way we think of visual rhetoric in composition studies. Through reading the carnivalesque images of women’s tattoos we can interpret the ways in which they communicate new meaning in creating individualism and agency of one’s body, challenging societal notions of feminine beauty and binaries as visual texts. The embodied texts of tattooed women challenge traditional ideologies of composition and rhetoric studies, establishing new occasions for reading and writing visual text.

Share

COinS
 
May 18th, 4:50 PM May 18th, 5:10 PM

The Visual Rhetoric of Women’s Tattoos: Constructing Identity, Reclaiming Power, and Writing a New Feminism through the Carnivalesque

Event Center BC

As a visual rhetoric, tattoos provide a means for women to claim power and agency over their selves and their bodies, destabilizing the conventional expectations of women as passive, through their socially constructed narratives, in the creation and interpretation of the written artifact that is the tattoo. In this presentation, I will show that studying tattoos as a visual rhetoric through the carnivalesque can change the way we view composition and writing studies, creating a capacity for change in rhetoric and writing, studying tattoos as a visual text. I propose that tattooed women exist in a carnivalesque liminality between binaries – masculine or feminine, conformist or marginalized – oscillating between the traditional world, in which women might feel pressured to hide their tattoos or risk ridicule, and an unconventional world, in which they reveal their true selves through the visual texts written on their bodies. Tattoos can facilitate how we interpret tattooed women’s creation of identities and occupancy of a liminal space between dominant society and tattoo culture, constructing an embodied feminism in the images inscribed on their bodies and changing the way we think of visual rhetoric in composition studies. Through reading the carnivalesque images of women’s tattoos we can interpret the ways in which they communicate new meaning in creating individualism and agency of one’s body, challenging societal notions of feminine beauty and binaries as visual texts. The embodied texts of tattooed women challenge traditional ideologies of composition and rhetoric studies, establishing new occasions for reading and writing visual text.