"Of Prosthetics and Pageants" by Dr. Mimi Thi Nguyen
Tue, November 8, 2011 • 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM • Burdine Hall (BUR) room 108
Dr. Mimi Thi Nguyen
In 2009, the controversial NGO Miss Landmine sought to hold their second annual pageant in Cambodia. Though the Cambodian government refused to allow the pageant to proceed, Miss Landmine nonetheless produced a pictorial featuring the female amputee contestants posed in front of tumbled temples and lush greenery. Hoping to engender “female pride and empowerment,” “disabled pride and empowerment, and “global and local landmine awareness and information,” the pageant pursues a politics of “becoming visible,” rendering “awareness” of landmines through their inscription on amputees, and awarding a prize of a golden prosthetic limb.
Come hear Dr. Mimi Thi Nguyen discuss Miss Landmine Cambodia and the biopolitics of beauty screened through the question: what kinds of fantasies are being played out across images of the body of the non-Western female amputee in Western visual cultures of humanitarianism?
Mimi Thi Nguyen is Assistant Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her first book, called Refugee Passages: War, Empire, Gifts of Freedom (forthcoming from Duke University Press), focuses on the promise of “giving” freedom concurrent and contingent with waging war. Nguyen is also co-editor with Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu of Alien Encounters: Pop Culture in Asian America (Duke University Press, 2007), and publishes on queer subcultures, punk feminisms, digital media, and much more.
Event is free and open to the public.