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Piatti-Farnell, Lorna: "‘For God’s sake, cover yourself’. Sexual violence, disrupted histories, and the gendered politics of patriotism in Watchmen." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 8.3 (2017), S. 238–251.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: PiattiFarnell2017a
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Keywords: "Watchmen", Gender, Gewalt, Gibbons. Dave, Großbritannien, Moore. Alan, USA
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
This paper examines the representation of sexual violence in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen. The comic book was published between 1986 and 1987 by DC Comics – and later collected into one volume in 1987 – and is set in an alternative reality, conceptually converging with points in history spanning from the 1930s to the 1980s. Watchmen hinges, on a number of levels, on the (alleged) rape of Silk Spectre by the Comedian in the early 1940s, an event shown as a flashback within the narrative. Although forming a short part of the comic book, and taking up a minimal number of frames, the episode of sexual violence is proposed in Watchmen as the conceptual fulcrum on which much of the narrative pivots, as well as the conceptual dynamics between the vigilante characters and their identification with the ‘United States’ as an entity. In my analysis, I connect sexual violence to notions of disrupted memory, collective historical narrative, (un)patriotism, and the ‘nation’ as a gendered entity. Ultimately, this paper uncovers how Watchmen exposes the well-known dichotomous metaphor of ‘women/nation’ as conflicted and warped. The politics of nationalism and patriotism are conflated with the aesthetics of gender representation, and the violated body as a contested social, cultural, and historical space.
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