Event Title

Being a Good Victim: The Effects of Heteronormative Ideology on the New York Times's Portraits of Grief

Location

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

Start Date

15-4-2019 3:30 PM

Description

PURPOSE: Of the 2,310 victims portrayed in The New York Times’ tribute to 9/11 victims, The Portraits of Grief, only eight are represented as loving same-sex partners, and those depictions differ sharply from depictions of straight relationships. There are many questions that follow from this fact, and this work has sought to answer those questions. PROCEDURES: The work analyzed the Portraits closely, incorporating into its analysis not only close-readings of the Portraits themselves but also biographical information that has been revealed about the victims and interviews with the journalists who actually wrote the individual vignettes that comprised the Portraits. OUTCOME: The work will show that although there is no evidence that anyone working for the Times intentionally shaped the vignettes to represent heteronormative values, those values nonetheless permeated the project. It will also reveal the ways that heteronormative ideology shapes social narratives by exploring the assumptions that were made by a large and interconnected group of people, including journalists, family members, and critics. IMPACT: This work is significant not only because it reveals the way that heteronormative ideology shapes the stories we tell, but also because it gives voice to victims whose identities were misrepresented in order to uphold values that many of those same victims would have fought against while alive.

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Apr 15th, 3:30 PM

Being a Good Victim: The Effects of Heteronormative Ideology on the New York Times's Portraits of Grief

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

PURPOSE: Of the 2,310 victims portrayed in The New York Times’ tribute to 9/11 victims, The Portraits of Grief, only eight are represented as loving same-sex partners, and those depictions differ sharply from depictions of straight relationships. There are many questions that follow from this fact, and this work has sought to answer those questions. PROCEDURES: The work analyzed the Portraits closely, incorporating into its analysis not only close-readings of the Portraits themselves but also biographical information that has been revealed about the victims and interviews with the journalists who actually wrote the individual vignettes that comprised the Portraits. OUTCOME: The work will show that although there is no evidence that anyone working for the Times intentionally shaped the vignettes to represent heteronormative values, those values nonetheless permeated the project. It will also reveal the ways that heteronormative ideology shapes social narratives by exploring the assumptions that were made by a large and interconnected group of people, including journalists, family members, and critics. IMPACT: This work is significant not only because it reveals the way that heteronormative ideology shapes the stories we tell, but also because it gives voice to victims whose identities were misrepresented in order to uphold values that many of those same victims would have fought against while alive.