[ISEA2011] Paper: Tanfer Emin Tunc – Intersections of Interdisciplinarity: Technological, Transcultural and Feminist Formations in the Electronic Art of Muriel Magenta


A Professor of Art at Arizona State University, a “new genre” artist who works with numerous technological media (including video, computer art, web technology, installation, multimedia performance, and sculpture), and a dedicated proponent of the American women’s art movement, Muriel Magenta is the embodiment of not only interdisciplinarity but also of feminist transcultural digital art.  A native New Yorker who was trained at Queens College (NY) and Johns Hopkins University, she has spent her career exploring the interface between art, science and technology, while remaining true to her larger objective of “creating a visual experience in an actual space, and then transmitting it over electronic networks into virtual environments,” which are, due to her use of the Internet, by default transnational.   Another goal of her digital art is to carve a space for women within this male-dominated genre.  To that end, she has served as the National President of the Women’s Caucus for Art, been active in the College Art Association’s Committee on Women in the Arts, and has participated in global gatherings, such as the United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, China (1995), where she presented “The World’s Women On-Line!”, an international web database Magenta created and curated, showcasing the art of women in global electronic networks.

This paper will explore not only Magenta’s personal and political causes as a transnational academic feminist, but also the ways in which her electronic art has served as a forum for the intersection of science, culture and women’s issues.  Focusing on her most prominent works, such as Patio de la Pompadour, and electronic exhibitions like Times Square, Token City, and Coiffure Carnival (murielmagenta.com/#exhibit), this presentation will highlight her contributions to the digital art world as well as to the promotion of women within art globally.  Magenta’s “activism through electronic art,” her documentary “28 Women: A Chance for Independence”  and her pedagogic innovations will also be major components of this paper.

  • Dr. Tanfer Emin Tunç is an Assistant Professor in the Department of American Culture and Literature at Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.  She received her BA, MA and PhD in American History, and an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and specializes in US women’s history and literature; the history of medicine, sexuality, and reproduction; and American social history (with an emphasis on American ethnic studies, the American South, transnational American studies, and consumer/popular culture).  The recipient of her field’s most prestigious grants and fellowships (including awards from the National Science Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation of Princeton University, Rockefeller University, Duke University, the University of Michigan, Smith College, the American Historical Association, the National Women’s Studies Association, the Society for the History of Technology, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and the Salzburg Global Fellowship), Dr. Tunç has presented her research at conferences all over the world. Dr. Tunç is the author of over 70 book chapters, reference book entries, book reviews, and journal articles, most of which have appeared in internationally-renowned publications such as Rethinking HistoryAsian Journal of Women’s Studies, Foreign Literature Studies, Women’s History ReviewHistorical Journal and Journal of Women’s History.   Her six books include: Technologies of Choice: A History of Abortion Techniques in the United States, 1850–1980 (VDM, 2008), The Globetrotting Shopaholic: Consumer Spaces, Products, and their Cultural Places (co-edited with Annessa A. Babic, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008), The Theme of Cultural Adaptation in American History, Literature, and Film: Cases When the Discourse Changed (co-edited with Laurence Raw and Gülriz Büken, The Edwin Mellen Press, 2009),  Positioning the New: Chinese American Literature and the Changing Image of the American Literary Canon (co-edited with Elisabetta Marino, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010), Feminism’s Unfinished Legacy: Critiques of Gender and Racial Inequality in Contemporary American Women’s Literature (VDM, 2011), The Transnational Turn in American Studies: Turkey and the United States (co-edited with Bahar Gürsel, Forthcoming, Peter Lang Publishing, 2012). Dr. Tunç is also Lead Editor of the Journal of Transnational American Studies’ Special Forum on Asian American Studies: “Redefining the American in Asian American Studies: Transnationalism, Diaspora and Representation” (Winter 2011). She is currently a peer reviewer for seven interdisciplinary journals; Vice President of the American Studies Association of Turkey (ASAT); and on the Executive Board of Hacettepe University’s Women’s Research and Implementation Center (HUWRIC), which operates under the auspices of the Faculty of Medicine.

Full text (PDF) p. 2439-2444