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“Monsters, Selfies, and Auschwitz: Gendering and Racializing Authenticity”

Dr. Rachel E. Dubrofsky (Communication, University of South Florida)

Friday, February 15th @ 3:30pm in Curtin Hall 175

In popular media, authenticity is often aligned with what are presented as unmediated affective displays: expressions framed as showing, in an unfettered fashion, what we feel inside. Authenticity is the paradoxical expression of what cannot be expressed. Bringing into conversation scholarship in feminist media studies, critical race, surveillance, and performance, the talk examines the consequences of racialization and gendering in ideas about authenticity and the role surveillance can play in mediating authenticity. Exploring the intersection of agency, performing, gender, and race in presentations of mediated authenticity, such as the framing of Trump as a reality TV president and the public outrage over a young girl who posted a smiling selfie at Auschwitz, this work asks: who gets to be authentic and who doesn’t, and what are the implications?

Rachel E. Dubrofsky is a feminist media scholar and Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida. Her research is rooted in a critical/cultural studies tradition, with a focus on popular culture (reality TV, television, social media, film) and the role of surveillance, with an emphasis on issues of race and gender. Some of her work has appeared in the journals Critical Studies in Media Communication¸ Communication Theory, Communication, Culture and CritiqueFeminist Media Studies, and Television and New Media. She is the author of The Surveillance of Women on Reality Television: Watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (2011), the co-editor of the collection Feminist Surveillance Studies, and is currently working on a book, Authenticating Whiteness, which looks at the implications of racialization and gendering in ideas about authenticity, with a secondary focus on surveillance as a way of mediating authenticity.

Brownbag Lunch Seminar

“Monstrous Authenticity: Trump’s Whiteness”

Friday, February 15 @ 12:15pm in Curtin Hall 939

Grab some lunch in Curtin 181 and join us for an informal discussion of Rachel E. Dubrofsky’s research and her 2018 book chapter, “Monstrous Authenticity: Trump’s Whiteness” from Interrogating the Communicative Power of Whiteness, edited by Dawn Marie D. McIntosh, Dreama G. Moon, and Thomas K. Nakayama.

Click on the article image to access the PDF!