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Professor Marcia Ochoa Lecture - "Sacar el Cuerpo": Transformista and Miss Embodiment in Venezuela

Thursday, April 9, 2009
12:00 AM
1644 SSWB (School of Social Work Building) - Take a left when walking into the building, walk through the International Institute Gallery, 1644 is the smaller room to the left

Professor Marcia Ochoa, Assistant Professor, Communisty Studies, will be visiting from University of California, Santa Cruz to talk on "Sacar el Cuerpo": Transformista and Miss Embodiment in Venezuela". Transformistas and misses accomplish their femininity through the use of technologies such as cosmetics, clothing, and implants. Transformistas also appropriate, innovate and abstract technologies such as hormones and injections in order to “bring out” their female bodies. They use the concept of "sacar el cuerpo," which suggests a relationship between nature and technology in which technology is employed simply to draw out what is naturally there and help nature express itself. Based on ethnographic research with Venezuelan transgender women (transformistas) and beauty pageant contestants (misses), this paper examines the practices adopted by members of both groups to accomplish feminine body aesthetics, and the logics of gender, technology and nature which accompany these.