Cyntia Enloe maps out colonial constructions of nation and gender, arguing that it is necessary to understand these constructions (and the histories of conquest), if we are to understand how gender is mobilized in nationalist movements.
Media, including postcards, photographs and nostalgic Hollywood cinema, are key parts of this construction.
1. What were some of the racialized and gendered meanings behind colonial constructions of masculinity?
2. How did colonial postcards reflect as well as participate in the construction of colonial masculinity? More particularly, how did images of women from colonized areas participate in the construction of colonial masculinity?
3. What does Enloe mean by Hollywood nostalgia? How has Hollywood film participated in these constructions? Can you think of any examples of the kind of colonial nostalgia that Enloe mentions? What do you think are its implications?
4. What do colonial constructions of gender render invisible?
5. Why, for Enloe, are these constructions necessary for understanding anti-colonial nationalist movements?
6. How do you think postcards operate in today's media culture? Do you see exoticism in tourist postcards today? If so, how does exoticism work in postcards today? Have you seen legacies of the images that Enloe mentions?
7. Are there ways in which contemporary postcards (or other travel media) communicate meaning and participate in the reproduction of power relations--whether gendered, racialized, or linked to national identity, for example?
8. Do you think this plays a role in the way gender within national movements is constructed and mobilized?
9. Do postcards today participate in the production of gendered forms of nationalism? If so, how? If not, what do you see as differences?