Bryell Turner ’14: “She’s Come Undone: Constructing and Contesting Identity through Feminist Slam Poetry” – March 27, 2014

What forces have impacted how you see yourself? For me, things situated both internally and eternally have converged to shape my identity. As Simone deBeauvoir famously said, I was not born a woman, but am in the process of becoming one. Images and memories are indelibly inked on my womanself, and expressing these through poetry is one step I have taken in understanding and defining my identity. In fact, the use of the term “womanself” is my reclamation of woman as self and not other; this concept is central to deBeauvoir’s feminist philosophy, and while the definition of woman is not universal, I reserve the right to define my womanself however I choose. A postmodern feminist lens allows me the greatest individual freedom to analyze my past and present experiences, and it is because of that freedom that I am able to use a nontraditional medium to academically analyze my selfhood.

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