Science-fiction cinema offers ample cases of strange encounters, but the most intriguing are those that offer critical insights into our worldliness. The film Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013) does exactly this by turning our gaze not to imaginations of the future but to the otherness within, defamiliarizing the category of the human in the process. In this paper, I explore how the category of the human is bound by normative conceptions of embodiment by critically reflecting on the relationship between visuality and embodiment, representation of disability, and the politics of looking at unusual bodies. Taking inspiration from Alison Kafer’s work, I propose that Under the Skin deploys a novel perspective on marginalized embodiment, considered from the contemporary context of the political status of disability in Western culture.
Science fiction, disability, embodiment, human, visuality.
Digressions 1.2 (2016), pp. 19-30.
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