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

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

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?