Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Amira Jarmakani

Second Advisor

Dr. Tiffany King

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan Talburt

Abstract

Examining the work of Pakistani-American performance artist Naveed Mir’s The Cinco Sanders Show, this thesis explores Mir’s work as conjuring the specters of the terrorist, tortured, and targeted bodies of the U.S. war on terror and unpacks ghosting/haunting as a primary technology of U.S. imperialism. Through close readings of Mir’s characters Party Mummy and Mohammed the Plumber, I argue that Mir’s affective performance style evokes and complicates what I refer to as the three decorporealizing logics of the war on terror: the body-made-threat, the body-made-target, and the body-made torture. Understanding these processes as violent forms of racialization that take shape in the construction of the terrorist other, the tortured Guantánamo Bay detainee, and those brown bodies targeted and killed by U.S. drone strikes, I explore the relationship between these forms of decorporealizing racialization and everyday forms of racialization, which call into question modern understandings of the body itself.

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