The Starr Report Disrobed


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Traditionally, we have admired cloth and clothing for its new, pristine qualities and have celebrated those features in our personal clothing, alongside collections, displays, catwalks, and advertising. This paper explores the underside of this known realm by drawing on the case studies of Jackie Kennedy's blood-stained suit, Monica Lewinsky's infamous blue dress, a controversial reading of the Shroud of Turin, and the living fabrics of Martin Margiela.

In suggesting that the accidental stain exemplifies Kristeva's abjection in two twentieth-century American presidential settings, we find stained garments powerfully symbolising dishonour and tragedy. The unintended mark may also deface an otherwise unblemished garment, and make the original fabric sacred. In a final twist, we see fashion deliberately applying stains for aesthetic purpose but the accidental stain continues to retain the power of defacement. Skip to Main Content. Search in: This Journal Anywhere.

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Sort order. Jul 25, T G rated it did not like it Shelves: in-my-library.

Lessons learned from the Ken Starr report, 20 years later

A quick glance through the margins of this books shows my disdain. Words, paragraphs, even whole pages are pencil-marked in my traditional manner and then emphasized with comments like "whatever," "oink," "lame," "oh, honestly! Probably her dissertation. That it escaped from the ivory tower is a minor tragedy.

Politics as Fiction

It is pages of pure acedmic masturbation which everyone knows is the worst A quick glance through the margins of this books shows my disdain. It is pages of pure acedmic masturbation which everyone knows is the worst kind.

In fact, I bet the author calls it masters-of-gender-studies-bation, but whatever the name, the reader must seek satisfaction elsewhere. Brigid McDonough rated it liked it Jul 07, Alejandro marked it as to-read Feb 14, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About Fedwa Malti-Douglas.

The Starr Report Disrobed by Fedwa Malti-Douglas

Fedwa Malti-Douglas. Professor Malti-Douglas began her career in Middle Eastern studies, producing nine books in this area two chosen for singular distinction and over 80 articles. She has served on many boards including editorial boards and received numerous fellowships and endowed lectureships, as well as the Kuwait Prize for Arts and Letters and the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Dean for Women' Professor Malti-Douglas began her career in Middle Eastern studies, producing nine books in this area two chosen for singular distinction and over 80 articles.

She has served on many boards including editorial boards and received numerous fellowships and endowed lectureships, as well as the Kuwait Prize for Arts and Letters and the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Dean for Women's Affairs at IU.

Lewinsky, Monica S. (Monica Samille) 1973-

Professor Malti-Douglas has recently broadened her intellectual interests. Her most recent book, The Starr Report Disrobed Columbia University Press, , links the interdisciplinary area of gender, sexuality, and the body with that of American legal and political narratives. Within this world, Kenneth Starr is a scary god, a Zeus-like figure who plays with the quasi-mortal characters in his dominion as if they were toys, moving them through scenes he has scripted solely for the purpose of rewarding those he arbitrarily favors and punishing those he just as arbitrarily scorns.

Then, when he is done with the game, Starr writes the whole thing up and presents his account to us. At which point we get to play Zeus: free to accept or reject Starr's text, alter its plot and themes, swap around its heroes and villains, turn its meaning upside down, even reassign its authorship -- anything we want.

Watch Malti-Douglas in action. In her retelling, the independent counsel's office "brings in" former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta and has him testify that there are procedures employed by West Wing staffers to prevent Clinton from compromising himself in private meetings with single women. By this testimony Starr is able to signal his "inherent heterosexist assumption that sexual danger comes from women.

And semen equals Clinton. Thus are the "gendered sexual conceptions and fascinations of the Office of Independent Counsel" revealed.


  • Fedwa Malti-Douglas.
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  • Lewinsky, Monica S. (Monica Samille) [WorldCat Identities].
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On the face of it, this is the purest insanity. None of these people was collaborating with Kenneth Starr so that he might better express his own psychosexual hang-ups in the literary form of an impeachment referral. They did what they did and said what they said because they chose to, on their own.

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Malti-Douglas cannot believe otherwise. She is merely showing off, performing the same byzantine interpretive tap dance on the Starr Report that hack academics everywhere routinely perform on works of fiction. And yet, by this otherwise dreary and meaningless exercise, has she not also, whether she realizes it or not, stumbled upon something almost profound? She has handled the vital document in a great controversy of our nation's public life as if it were a work of fiction.

Put another way: Fedwa Malti-Douglas has announced that the material of our politics is now the equivalent of a fictional text. Nothing more important. Nothing to be more respectfully practiced or scrupulously studied. And nothing any less appropriate for her special brand of infantile frivolity. Is she wrong about that?

Fedwa Malti-Douglas

Malti-Douglas has written a book-length treatise on the Lewinsky scandal which somehow manages entirely to ignore the law as both an idea and a reality. But then, the president of the United States himself ignored the law -- and the executive branch of government defended him for it, and the caucus of Senate Democrats who guaranteed his impeachment acquittal effectively closed their eyes. Ordinary citizens, come to think of it, were generally Malti-Douglasoid about the whole thing, too.

They saw it as an absorbing story for a time, rather like a blockbuster development in some daytime soap: The lead character may have cheated on his wife and committed a crime!

Lewinsky Affair

But the country grew quickly tired of this plot, and never saw how it might implicate anything truly consequential like the integrity of the constitutional system , and. Translated from the graduate-seminar jargonese, these are The Starr Report Disrobed's conclusions, as well. Beltway Confidential. Washington Secrets.

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