Item

Feeling Brown, Feeling Down: Latina Affect, the Performativity of Race, and the Depressive Position

title

Feeling Brown, Feeling Down: Latina Affect, the Performativity of Race, and the Depressive Position

viaf

publisher

New Feminist Theories of Visual Culture

publication year

2006

description

Depression has become one of the dominant affective positions addressed within the cultural field of contemporary global capitalism. However, such a blanket statement requires fine-tuning. While art and media that depict the affective contours of depression have certainly become more prevalent, it is nonetheless important to be attentive to the ways in which the current historical moment is able to mimetically render various depictions of the problem of depression that plagues the contemporary citizen subject with a crypto-universalist script. Certainly depression is gendered. Female depression and male depression resonate quite differently. While female depression is more squarely framed as a problem, the depression that plagues men is often described as a fullon condition, registering beyond the sphere of the individual, linked to a sort of angst and longing that are often described as endemic to postmodernism. However, that statement also requires some amending insofar as such a distinction reproduces a default white subject. The topic of depression has not often been discussed in relation to the question of racial formations in critical theory. This essay dwells on a particular depiction of depression that most certainly speaks to the general moment but resists the pull of crypto-universalism. The art project at the center of this essay considers how depression itself is formed and organized around various historical and material contingencies that include race, gender, and sex.

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reviewer

Katie Arthur

was created by

Muñoz, José Esteban

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