Against Our Will: Sexual Trauma in American Art Since 1970 (Hardback)
  • Against Our Will: Sexual Trauma in American Art Since 1970 (Hardback)

Against Our Will: Sexual Trauma in American Art Since 1970 (Hardback)

Hardback 368 Pages / Published: 05/02/2019
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As part of the feminist movement of the 1970s, female artists began consciously using their works to challenge social conceptions and the legal definitions of rape and incest and to shift the dominant narrative of violence against women. In this dynamic book, Vivien Green Fryd charts this decades-long radical intervention through an art-historical lens.

Fryd shows how American artists such as Suzanne Lacy, Leslie Labowitz, Faith Ringgold, Judy Chicago, and Kara Walker insisted on ending the silence surrounding sexual violence and helped construct an anti-rape, anti-incest counternarrative that remains vibrant today. She looks at how second-wave feminist artists established and reiterated the importance of addressing sexual violence against women and how their successors in the third wave then framed their works within that visual and rhetorical tradition. Throughout, Fryd highlights specific themes-rape and incest against white and black female bodies, rape against white and black male bodies, rape and pornography-that intersect with other challenges to and critiques of the sociocultural and political patriarchy from the 1970s through the present day.

Featuring dozens of illustrative works and written by an art historian who is a scholar of PTSD and herself a survivor, this groundbreaking and timely project explores sexual violence as a discrete subject of American art with open eyes and unflinching analysis. Against Our Will challenges the reader to serve as witness to the trauma in much the same way as the works Fryd studies.

Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
ISBN: 9780271082066
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 1247 g
Dimensions: 254 x 178 x 254 mm

"In art communities that rarely discuss sexual trauma, even as it occurs within the communities, and in a cultural climate in which the #MeToo movement remains necessary, Fryd's book provides survivors of sexual trauma and their allies with deserved acknowledgement and sometimes cathartic release."

-Jennifer Remenchik, Hyperallergic

"Highly recommended for academic libraries serving art history, women's and gender studies, pan-African studies, or other units with an interest in intersectional feminism, racial justice, social justice, or art."

-Alex O'Keefe, ARLIS/NA Reviews

"Pairing trauma theory with detailed analysis of American art focused on sexual violence, Fryd's study is a timely and compelling contribution to ongoing conversations about the intersections of images and actions, art as social and political catalyst, and the impact of feminist thought in contemporary American culture."

-Erika Doss, author of American Art of the 20th-21st Centuries

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