a journal of women's and gender studies

volume one, june 2010

editor: Suzanne Moshier

 

 

Collaging the Gendered Self:
Exploring autobiography, selfhood, gender and feminism through collage
Rachel Tomlinson Dick

     The experience of collaging has been acted out in different forms for centuries around the world.  Prior to the 1920s, the medium of collage was widely viewed as folk art, which is also referred to as “arts and crafts,” and the majority of individuals who embraced it were women.  During this era it was of little interest to the art world.  However in early twentieth-century France, cubist artists Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso began to incorporate collage into their work, which many scholars view as the emergence of collage as a "legitimate" art form (Brommer 1994).  Throughout the 1920s and 1930s collage increased in popularity amongst major avant-garde artists and moved out of the realm of being regarded as strictly experimental.  Collage inhabits the somewhat contradictory space of being simultaneously considered both high art and folk art. The history, as well as the current status of collage, displays its paradoxical nature; it is not, nor has it been historically, strictly associated with either male or female roles, or with either high art or folk art.  The constitution of collage as a contravening entity is readily apparent simply in terms of its origins.   
     Creative projects, such as collage, have long been employed by people of all genders as a way to express themselves.  Artistic works are also a means of exploring ideas and identity, including elements of gender and how it interacts with other components of the self.  Whether these artistic explorations were created with the intention of public viewing or were conducted as a strictly personal endeavor, they still function in the same manner at a basic level in this role of self-discovery and expression.
     I argue that collage can be a transgressive means of exploring and expressing the self that resists gender dichotomies and hierarchies.  I will begin with a discussion of the attributes of so-called “male” and “female” artistic expression, and the dichotomy and hierarchical relationship that has been created between the two.  I then will explore the particular type, or features, of autobiographical works historically carried out by female creators, and also expand the definition of “feminine” works to “feminist” works.  Theories of selfhood and the ubiquitous nature of gender in explorations and articulations of the self will also be discussed.  Lastly, I will provide a summary and discourse on data collected on this topic from the workshop entitled “Collaging the Gendered Self”, which occurred as a part of the 2009 No Limits! Conference on women's and gender studies.
     Diane Waldman (1992) notes, "In the twentieth century, as in previous centuries, collage has been fashioned from the ordinary and commonplace.  Now, however, the artist replaced the artisan or the amateur" (p. 10).  So then, is the standing of collage as an act of high art or folk art determined solely by the sex and status of the agent creating it?  Whereas historically “female” artistic expression has served primarily functional purposes, “male” artistic expression has been allowed to exist, and be of value to society in and of itself.  In Sex as a Status Characteristic in the Visual Arts Jean Gillies (1979) writes, "Art, then, may constitute a silent but powerful form of feedback that communicates and perpetuates societally accepted notions of sex as a characteristic of status."  This is evidenced by many factors throughout our culture; the amount of art created by women displayed in museums as opposed to the amount created by men, as well as the fact that more utilitarian creative projects are still not viewed as high art lend credence to this reality.  In the introduction to the book Women Making Art, Marsha Meskimmon (2003) discusses the phenomenon of the position of work created by females in the art world, stating, "It is still perfectly possible, for example, for a major exhibition of a century's painting to be mounted by three national galleries without including a single work by a woman . . . In contemporary art, it is still a surprise, or possibly a 'fix', if the nominees for a major prize are all women, but not even noted when they are all men" (pp. 1-2).
     How is it that certain styles and genres of artistic expression can be considered inherently valuable in the public sphere, whereas others are only seen as valuable in so much as they serve a practical function in the domestic sphere?  This contradiction mirrors the concept of the gendered division of labor that is so prevalent in our culture.  As our society is patriarchal, that is, men are placed as the heads and decision makers, value will be assigned to what is seen to be in accord with this system of thought and judgments that they have established.  Men's art is perceived as valuable within the public sphere, just as men's active participation and contributions have been historically viewed as valuable within it.  Women's art is useful within the domestic sphere in the same manner that women have been historically seen as being specifically endowed to serve within that area.  Gillies (1979) elaborates on the subject, " . . . rank in art may be intimately related to the persistence of sex as a characteristic of status has implications that are too far-reaching to be ignored" (p. 95).
     One explanation for this disparity in rank and value could be a matter of functionality.  Relating this idea to collage in particular, pre-twentieth century women employed the medium of collage for more generally practical means, such as creating cards and the preservation of mementos.  Historically, the artistic projects created by women, no matter how ornate and beautiful, also served strictly practical purposes.  This phenomenon regarding the practicality of women’s creative endeavors is caused by the position to which women have been relegated by society in that women are given fewer opportunities to develop their artistic visions, particularly outside the domestic sphere.  It also serves as a reason that, within our patriarchal societal structure, “women's work” is viewed as being of diminished value when compared to the generally less practically motivated work of men. 
     A prime example of this lowered status, as well as the historical motivation of women's creative work, is the act of quilting.  Susan E. Bernick (1994) writes on the subject, " . . . quilts are part of an artistic tradition that was less privileged in the art world, but nonetheless, an art world in its own right" (p. 145).  Quilting is a truly artistic endeavor, requiring not only great skill but creative vision as well.  It is also an endeavor, both historically and currently, practiced largely by women.  In the 1970s, the movement for “women's crafts,” particularly quilting, to be viewed as legitimate art by the creative world was a cause taken up by feminists.  They sought to create a space in “high art” for what had long been seen as humble and practical, and as secondary in status. 
     The craft of quilting may be viewed as a relative of collage.  Quilting involves creating one unified object, in this case a cloth covering for warmth, from smaller pieces of fabric.  In the same manner, collage also entails creating a singular visual image from scraps of other materials.  Both endeavors not only acknowledge edges and seams, but employ them as an important part of the finished visual.
Collage is defined as an artistic composition made of assorted materials affixed to a surface, or a creative work that incorporates various materials or elements (Brommer 1994).  In the book Collage Techniques Gerald F. Brommer (1994) states, "Collage is used to explore ideas, advocate concepts, and develop possible directions in which to work.  But just as often it is the consummate means of personal visual expression and distinct visual vocabulary" (p. 15).
     This "personal visual expression and distinct visual vocabulary" (Brommer 1994, 15) is a noteworthy concept.  Particularly, how the act of collage can be utilized, and fits snugly, within the realm of autobiography.  Collaging involves collecting individual, often discarded scraps of various papers and other materials with the artist acting as the agent in creating cohesion with them.  The act of formatting an autobiographical work is akin to this; it involves collecting the scraps and fragments of one's experiences and memories.  Each singular moment may, on its own, seem unimportant, or nearly be discarded, but when aggregated they become a unified work.  Both acts of creation involve the ordering of individual elements into a personal and distinct vocabulary, whether it be visual or linguistic, and both provide the creator with a sense of agency.     Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson (2002) suggest that a "multivalent,” profound and tangled relationship exists between the visual and the textual, with the visual "inviting viewers to read stories within them" and the textual utilizing symbolism and figures (p. 19).  In that manner, collage could be viewed in relation to autobiography as a means to provide the author with an expanded creative vocabulary, and a tool for further expression that would not be possible within a traditional narrative structure that relies only on the imagery of language.
     In The Female Self Engendered: Autobiographical writing and theories of selfhood, Shari Benstock (1991) states, "In the word 'autobiography,' writing mediates the space between the 'self' and 'life.'  One definition suggests that autobiography is an effort to recapture the self . . . This coming-to-knowledge of the self constitutes both the desire that initiates the autobiographical act and the goal toward which autobiography might be at the crossroads of 'writing' and 'selfhood'" (p. 8). 
     If the idea of “self” is that which is being explored, what elements compose not only ourselves, but also our ideas of ourselves and how does that relate to women's and gender studies?  Many scholars discuss the self as "culturally constituted" (Benstock 1991); the individual is inseparable from the societal elements that surround them in their development.  Smith and Watson (2002) state that, "The autobiographical is a performative site of self-referentiality where the psychic formations of subjectivity and culturally coded identities intersect and 'interface' one another" (p. 11).  I would argue that if the self is “culturally constituted,” or "culturally coded,” then the self is therefore a gendered entity and any expression or exploration of that self also becomes an expression or exploration of gender, whether consciously or unconsciously.     
     Indoctrination into gender begins with intensity even before birth in our culture and is evidenced in a multitude of ways.  The toys that children are given to play with, the way that they are spoken to and about, the types of activities that are encouraged, the kinds of behaviors that are rewarded and prohibited, even things such as color and type of dress, all enforce and uphold normative gendered conduct.  These systems of rewards and punishments based on gender, and societal viewpoints regarding what constitutes it, continue into adulthood, shaping and molding our viewpoints and actions.  These interpellations, for many, largely occur without much thought or analysis, so then, in that manner their articulations of gender in creative endeavors go largely unrecognized as such.  However, regardless of one's cognizance of it, when one seeks to recapture and depict this culturally constituted self, one speaks of gender.
     Within the academic discipline of autobiographical studies, the "genre/gender" of autobiographical works is an important area of examination (Benstock 1991, 5).  This focus on the gendered aspects of a particular work deals largely with the specific features that have historically been employed by male or female authors.  One of the key features that is indicative of autobiographical works created by women is detailed as a somewhat disjointed narrative structure which accounts for and embraces gaps in time, place, and memory.  Benstock (1988) refers to this characteristic as "fissures of female discontinuity” (p. 29).  She states, “’Writing the self' is therefore a process of simultaneously sealing and splitting that can only trace fissures of discontinuity” (Benstock 1988, 29).
     These "fissures of discontinuity" are also relevant in discussions regarding the medium of collage.  Collage is an art form that is comprised of fragments; it does not try to conceal its seams, but rather acknowledges and embraces them as a part of the work, and as a reflection of life.  Thus, these gaps can be viewed within the context of gaps in time and in the narrative structure, but also as actual visible, physical gaps within the scraps composing a collage. 
     The rationale behind ascribing this unique, fissured style of writing to women is attributed to their further knowledge and experience of “otherness” in conjunction with the idea that, due to this, women feel the effects of psychic reality more fully (Benstock 1988, 20-21).  Autobiography, as well as language in and of itself, is a field that has been defined and dominated by male individuals within a patriarchal structure.  In undertaking these literary endeavors of self-expression, female authors experience very different “social and political effects” (Benstock 1988, 16).  These effects frequently show through in their style of writing as a more discordant usage of language, which is both internal and external, and serves a means of expression as well as a defense.
     As I have discussed, this distinct literary style characterized by fragmentary elements is attributed female autobiography; however, I wish to extend it to describe, and be inclusive of, what I call “feminist autobiography.”  A key component of feminism is seeking to subvert the patriarchal status quo, or the “norm,” and create a space for difference to exist and flourish.  In autobiographical terms, the norm would be considered the typical, linear works, historically employed by primarily male authors which serve to, "seal up and cover over gaps in memory, dislocations in time and space, insecurities, hesitations, and blind spots" (Benstock 1988, 20). 
     Whereas men certainly do not experience “otherness” related to gender in the same manner that women do, they are very capable of experiencing “otherness” in different capacities, and are also able to come to an awareness of this “otherness” and contribute to feminist thought and consciousness.  In an essay entitled Real Men Join the Movement, Michael Kimmel (2007) discusses the men's profeminist movement, comparing the coming-to-knowledge experienced by some men of the oppression faced by women in society to the “click” felt by women "when they realize that their pain, fears, confusion, and anger are not theirs alone, but are shared" (p. 724).  This realization often causes men to reassess their identity as it relates to gendered norms, and leads them to actively choose a different way of approaching and expressing themselves as a gendered entity.  In that manner, feminism also seeks to deconstruct restrictive, preconceived notions of what it is to be male or female and to express oneself as such. 
     Whereas I have put forth terms and features that are descriptive of “feminist autobiography,” there is no absolute definition for what these works precisely contain or display, just as there is no homogeneous prototype of feminist ideology and its manifestation.  In Beyond Feminist Aesthetics Rita Felski (1989) elaborates on this concept, "Even a definition of feminist literature which emphasizes representation and ideological content, however, offers obvious difficulties, given the pluralistic nature of feminist ideology" (p. 12).  The idea of plurality has long been associated with femaleness and has been used to describe women's writing by many theorists.  Luce Irigaray (1985) discusses the "multiple nature of female desire and language" in The Sex Which is Not One, drawing on the duality, and the embracing nature of women's sexual anatomy as a parallel for the way that women frequently express themselves in an intimate, non-linear and contiguous manner (p. 104).  Collage is also a pluralistic act, composed of many different pieces and ideas; the form in and of itself implies a mixture of media and elements.  Furthermore, this contiguity is a distinguishing feature of collage as well; the multiple fragments composing a collage are all touching upon and interacting with one another.
     This multiplicity of the medium of collage may also function in terms of its significance in encompassing the various elements that I have discussed.  It provides not only a fitting outlet for the features historically indicative of female autobiography, but also a means to extend those features to a feminist re-visioning of autobiographical expression.  It can be viewed as transgressive in that manner, as well as in relation to the manner in which it is capable of bridging the dichotomy created between so-called “female” and “male” artistic expression.  A post-modern approach to collage violates norms on both frontiers and seeks to create its own space outside of the preconceived notions of gender-segregated stylistics, aesthetics, and functional purposes.  In a broader scope, the state of collage as a challenge to the dichotomy created between traditionally high art, or “male” art, and folk art, or “female” art, could be seen as a parallel to the stance that feminist thought and activism takes in defiance to the dichotomies created between that which is seen as “masculine” and “feminine” in roles, status, and expression.
     As a way to study and collect data and observations on these ideas regarding collage, autobiography, gender and theories of selfhood, I approached a workshop that I facilitated as a portion of the No Limits! Conference on women's and gender studies as a testing ground of sorts.  The workshop provided conferees with the materials and opportunity to make their own collages based in autobiography, which, upon completion, were aggregated into a large mosaic, or “collaborage.”  The collaborage served as a means by which to transform the rather individualistic act of exploring the story and concepts that compose oneself into a more collectively oriented event, as well as to provide a powerful visual, for later reproduction, embodying giving voice to lived experience.
     I invited the conferees to use the workshop as an opportunity to experiment with the "sealing and splitting" (Benstock 1988) of both autobiography and the medium of collage, and how they interacted with one another.  I also asked them to view it as a chance to see to what degree, and in what manner, ideas and expressions of gender came to the forefront of their creative work.  I attempted to leave any kind of instruction beyond this, except a request to work within the framework of the shape of paper that they were provided with, very limited so as not to influence too strongly the way that the participants expressed themselves through the creative process.
     The workshop was set up in a large room with long tables in three rows and seats placed slightly staggered from one another on both sides of the tables.  On the table space in front of each seat was a workstation that had been prepared before the participants arrived.  At each workstation, the conferees were provided with a diamond-shaped piece of watercolor paper to serve as their “canvas,” a small container of paste, a sponge brush, and a fine-point permanent marker.  Rulers and scissors were placed on all of the tables as well for the conferees to share amongst themselves as needed.  There were “supplies tables” at several locations around the perimeter of the room.  These tables contained a wide variety of different materials, such as magazines, old books, pastels, acrylic paints, colored and patterned papers, as well as needles, thread and assorted fabrics.  Several participants brought some of their own materials that they wished to utilize, such as significant photos, stencils, and their own paper. 
     The workshop lasted one and a half hours, which allowed the vast majority of the conferees plenty of time to finish their collages.  Whereas each participant was completing his or her own individual work, a degree of collaboration, or cooperation, took place over the course of the workshop.  Although there was an initial flurry of sound and activity surrounding the selection of materials from the supplies tables, the actual collaging commenced in relative quiet.  As work continued, however, more and more communication began taking place amongst the conferees.  Several participants requested use of and exchanged various supplies as needed; some utilized one another as an audience against which to bounce ideas.  As the participants began to complete their works, they walked around to view and complement the collages that others were producing, which gave the room a very communal and encouraging atmosphere.
     Forty-three individuals completed a collage as a part of the workshop, and of those individuals 33 completed an anonymous participant response form.  The participant response forms were, upon collection, assigned numbers from 1 to 33 randomly for ease in summarizing and referencing them.


Participant Response Form Questions                                                     [Table 1]

Question 1

What are your thoughts on using the medium of collage to explore autobiography?

Question 2

In your opinion, did concepts of gender show through as a relevant part of your completed project?

 

      The form posed two questions to the conferees: What are your thoughts on using the medium of collage to explore autobiography? and, In your opinion, did concepts of gender show through as a relevant part of your completed project?  In response to question one, of the 33 responses completed 22 expressed, in their own words, that collage was a favorable way to explore autobiographical themes.  Nine responses were too vague to draw a strong conclusion on whether they viewed collage as a favorable or unfavorable method.  Two individuals viewed it as a more unfavorable means of exploring autobiographical themes.

Responses to Question One                                                                    [Table 2]

 

Collage is a favorable way to explore autobiographical themes

Collage is a more unfavorable way of exploring autobiographical themes

Response was too vague to draw a strong conclusion

Question 1

22 participants agreed

2 participants agreed

9 participants agreed

       In response to question two, of the 33 responses completed 15 agreed strongly that concepts of gender showed through as a relevant part of their completed project.  Twelve stated that concepts of gender showed through to a degree as a relevant part of their completed project.  Six did not believe that concepts of gender showed through at all in their completed project.


Responses to Question Two                                                                     [Table 3]

 

Concepts of gender showed through in their completed project

Concepts of gender showed through to a degree in their completed project

Did not believe that concepts of gender showed through at all in their completed project

Question 2

15 participants agreed

12 participants agreed

6 participants agreed

      More noteworthy though, in my opinion, than the summary of the data collected from the participant response forms, were the actual written responses to the open-ended questions on the forms.  These proved to more fully elucidate the relationships that the participants experienced between collage, autobiography, and gendered themes as they created their work. 
     In response to question one, a conferee stated, "Personality and identity is such a hodgepodge of your experiences anyways that a collage is an effective way to explore your own identity."  This serves to reinforce my hypothesis regarding the interaction between the medium of collage and autobiographical explorations.  The response also speaks to the kinds of similarities between the acts of creating a collage and an autobiographical work, which both involve collecting fragments of either materials or one's memory, and using them to inform each other and form a unified story and/or image.  Another participant drew on distinctions between collage and the act of writing a “traditional” narrative comprised solely of linguistic articulation, "Collage allows an individual to explore areas with vocabulary not available to a traditional writer using text."  As surmised earlier in this paper, a predominantly visual creative endeavor can frequently serve to endow the artists with a greater sense of freedom and possibility, particularly if they are accustomed to relying solely on language as a means of self-expression.  Visual elements allow them space to delve into unique, and frequently more abstract, ways to communicate ideas with others and to explore and express their own voices. 
     Overall the participants had a very positive reaction to the utilization of collage in the realm of autobiography; however, some conferees did not find collage to be particularly useful in their personal autobiographical endeavors, though as one can view from looking at the data tables, these responses were exceptional.  One participant wrote of a preference for the use of text for autobiography, and another individual wrote, "It's interesting to see the end results, but I already know these things about myself so sort of pointless.  I just make a mess."  Inversely, another participant said, "It seems like a very authentic way to explore the hidden concepts of self, perhaps revealing things you didn't realize were important before you started."    
     Many participants stated that gender was a relevant part of their completed project, as their vision upon commencing the collaging process was centered upon areas of themselves that related to gender.  Some reported failing to recognize the gendered aspects of their collage until viewing it upon completion.  One conferee stated, “I didn't have a particular sense of the gender implications of my work while I was doing it.  But, looking at it now -- I think there is a lot to be said about my collage's gender implications." 
     Some of the participant response forms that elaborated on why they did not believe gender showed through in their completed project also proved to be in accordance with that same idea regarding the conscious and unconscious expressions of gender in autobiographical works.  One conferee stated, in response to question 2, "No [concepts of gender did not show through] -- I was more into flowers, feathers, and paper."  I found this response particularly noteworthy, as it accurately illustrates the unconscious expression of gender.  Flowers, feathers and paper are all, in certain manners, endowed by our society with gendered traits and value, particularly considering the specific qualities of those items.  Two other statements made in response to question two, I believe, serve to sum up these ideas thoroughly and succinctly.  One participant wrote, " . . . Gender roles and concepts are ubiquitous, so even if you weren't exactly looking for that or keeping that in mind for your creation, it would've still appeared, however subconsciously."  Another stated, "It is an almost unavoidable part of the self.  In recognizing this one cannot complete an autobiographical work without including gender or how your gendered experiences have shaped you."
     An additional factor to make note of is the conferees' knowledge of the fact that their work would be compiled into the collaborage after its completion, which would be viewed by numerous individuals, in a public space, and also be photographed for later reproduction in multiple media.  This ties into concepts previously discussed relating to gendered qualities of the artistic endeavors traditionally undertaken by males and females, as well as the gendered division of labor.  “Women's art” has historically been relegated to practical purposes within the private sphere, and the act of collage is transgressive in the manner that it is not strictly practical or utilitarian.  This aspect of the workshop could also potentially provide another element of contravention to the dichotomy of so-called “men's” and “women's” art, as the collages were, from their onset, to serve a function in public space, rather than being solely a private, or domestic, act. 
     Also noteworthy along these lines, is that several of the conferees expressed in their response forms being somewhat aware of outside viewers while undertaking the creative process of their work.  One individual wrote, "I approached the task by letting my creativity flow without thinking too much about it or analyzing it, but as I worked through my collage I began to reflect more on the significance of what I was doing and how it did represent myself.  At the end, I began adding final touches that might have been more intentional as I began trying to think more from the perspective of audience and interpretation.”
     There are, most certainly, limitations to the content and methodology of the data that were collected.  First and foremost, the participants were in no way selected randomly.  The workshop took place as a portion of the 2009 No Limits!Conference held at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, so the participants were a conglomeration of women's and gender studies students, faculty, and friends and family members of those students, many of whom were also presenting later in the conference.  Therefore the participants, as a whole, had a fairly deep understanding of gender theory and feminist perspectives.  Also, the participants were largely from the same geographical region, with the majority of them residing in Nebraska. 
     Another element of utilizing the conference to collect data was that the vast majority of workshop participants, 40 of the 43, were female.  This led to a somewhat limited scope of perspectives on gender in this project, but also, interestingly, served a function of placing femaleness as the norm and maleness as the "other" in this particular setting. 
     I believe that the “Collaging the Gendered Self”workshop provided the conferees with a unique experience, as creative events of this nature do not typically take place as a part of academic conferences of this kind. Overall, the workshop served to reinforce my hypothesis regarding the manner in which autobiography and the medium of collage interact and are useful in conjunction, as well as my theory regarding the presence of gender in examinations and articulations of the self. 
     Other scholarship on the subject of utilizing gender autobiography, as well as the medium of collage, has been carried out by Susan A. Comerford and Mary J. Fambrough (2002) in the context of employing these media to raise consciousness and stimulate critical thinking in a classroom setting.  Although the article’s primary focus was centered on the written gender autobiography project that was assigned to students as a portion of the coursework, their findings on the effectiveness of “individuals’ experiences as a reliable source of knowing” (p. 418) is useful to this project.  Comerford and Fambrough (2002) observed, “the depth of learning from this individual and collective experience has been profound” (p. 425).       Furthermore, they cite that “Frequently, the writers and tellers of the stories have never fully recognized the impact of gender on their own identities or on the identities of their clients and associates” (p. 425).  This point is consistent with some of the workshop’s findings on the ubiquity and importance of gender in endeavors that express the self.
     The act of creating a collage based in autobiography at once embraces many unique elements of the self, and of a broader shared reality.  It plays into itself, mirroring the fragmented nature of one's own experiences and identity with the process of its coming-to-being, as well as in the completed visual image.  Also, feminist collage serves simultaneously as a transgression against the dichotomies and restrictive categories into which so-called “women's” (and “men's”) art has been relegated, and as an articulation and revisioning of what gender expresses and entails.

 

 

References

Benstock, Shari. 1988. Authorizing the autobiographical, in The private self: Theory and practice of      women's autobiographical writings, edited by Shari Benstock, 10-33. Chapel Hill: The University of      North Carolina Press.
Benstock, Shari 1991. The female self engendered: Autobiographical writing and theories of selfhood.      Women's studies, Vol. 20, pp. 5-14.
Bernick, Susan E. 1994. A quilt is an art object when it stands up like a man. In Quilt culture: Tracing the      pattern, edited by Cheryl B. Torsney, and Judy Elsley. Columbia: University of Missouri Press.
Brommer, Gerald. 1994. Collage Techniques. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications.
Comerford, Susan A. and Mary J. Fambrough. 2002. Constructing Learning Sites for
     Solidarity and Social Action: Gender Autobiography for Consciousness Raising. Affilia Vol. 17, pp.      411- 428.
Felski, Rita. 1989. Beyond feminist aesthetics: Feminist literature and social change. Cambridge: Harvard      University Press.
Gillies, Jean. 1979. Sex as a status characteristic in the visual arts, in Feminist Collage: Educating women      in the visual arts, edited by Judy Loeb, 93-99. New York: Teachers College Press.
Irigaray, Luce. 1985. This sex which is not one. Translated by Catherine Porter, and Carolyn Burke. Ithaca:      Cornell University Press.
Kimmel, Michael. 2007. Real men join the movement, in Women's voices, feminist visions, 3rd edition,      edited by Susan M. Shaw, and Shanon Lee, 721-726. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Meskimmon, Marsha. 2003. Women making art: History, subjectivity, aesthetics. Florence: Routledge.
Smith, Sidonie, and Julia Watson. 2002. Introduction: Mapping women's self- representation at      visual/textual interfaces, in Interfaces, women / autobiography / image / performance, edited by Sidonie Smith, and Julia Watson, 1-46. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Waldman, Diane. 1992. Collage, assemblage, and the found object. New York: Harry N. Abrams.

 

 

Appendix

image1
Image a: The completed “collaborage” comprised of all of the individual collages created by the participants of the “Collaging the Gendered Self”workshop, which was a part of the 2009 No Limits!Conference.

 

 

image2
Image b: Scanned images of the collage-illustrated, autobiographical book, which was created by the author, and upon which the “Collaging the Gendered Self” workshop was based.