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  • 1.
    Johansson, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Sweden.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Iconography of suffering in social media: images of sitting girls2015In: World suffering and quality of life / [ed] Ronald E. Anderson, Dordrecht: Springer, 2015, 1, p. 341-355Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper examines the online iconography of mental suffering by using the visual trope of a hunched-over sitting girl as a case in point. By analyzing images of sitting girls found in YouTube video montages on self-harm, and also tracking their further online existence through image search engines, we suggest that the popularity of this trope stems from its generic character, where the girl can be read as simultaneously docile and as actively refusing to engage with the world around her. While not new in itself, the trope is circulated and put to use in new ways through social media with emphasis on remix and visual communication. We argue that media-specific features, together with gender and mental health discourses, enable particular representations and aesthetic styles that may both reinforce and alleviate suffering.

  • 2.
    Johansson, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå University.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Ridiculing Suffering on YouTube: Digital Parodies of Emo Style2016In: Blunt Traumas: Negotiating Suffering and Death / [ed] Nate Hinerman, Holly Lynn Baumgartner, Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2016, p. 31-40Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Numerous YouTube videos represent and comment on self-injury, as evidenced bya search for this term, which produces about 123,000 results (6 June 2014). Inprevious studies, we have explored how suffering, the body, and gender areperformed in such personal videos. During our YouTube study, we have alsoencountered a specific category of video clips that merits further discussion: videosthat in different ways attempt to parody or make fun of self-injury and mentaldistress. What most of them have in common is that they focus on self-injury aspart of the so-called emo subculture or emo style. The purpose of this chapter is todiscuss what such videos tell us about cultural conceptions of suffering and gender.Our analysis builds on a small sample of three YouTube videos in which emoculture and mental distress are parodied and ridiculed through exaggeration. Wedemonstrate that the parodies revolve around two main points: emo as a stylisedperformance of suffering, and emo as queer masculinity. The chapter concludes bysuggesting that this ridiculing of emo culture builds upon discourses of hegemonicmasculinity and normative heterosexuality which are also likely to haveconsequences for the understanding of mental suffering, emotional sensitivity, andgender in a broader context.

  • 3.
    Johansson, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Sweden.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Ridiculing suffering on YouTube: digital parodies of Emo style2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Numerous YouTube videos represent and comment on self-injury, as evidenced by a search for this term which returns about 123 000 results (June 6, 2014). In previous studies, we have explored how suffering, embodiment and gender are performed in such personal videos through the use of digital technology and the YouTube platform in particular (Johansson 2013, Sternudd and Johansson forthcoming, Johansson & Sternudd in press). There is, however, one category of video clips that deserves further discussion: those that parody self-injury videos and ridicule people who self-injure through imitation and trivialization.

    In this paper, we analyse a number of such video parodies in order to demonstrate how humour is used to convey norms and ideas regarding mental suffering and gender. The existence of parodies implies that there is in fact a recognizable genre of self-injury videos to parody. Mockery, then, is not only aimed at self-injury as an embodied performance of mental suffering, but also at its digital display which tend to be ridiculed as mere attention-seeking. Furthermore, jokes often allude to gender stereotypes, revealing how performances of mental suffering are denigrated when associated with young femininity. Hence, we aim to discuss what these parodies tell us about the wider social and cultural context of suffering and about the relation between conceptualizations of suffering and constructions of community. To conclude, we suggest that humour in this context may be seen as transgressive insofar as it jokes about a controversial topic – suffering – and insofar as it is reappropriated or articulated by the very individuals who self-harm, but that the videos largely reinforce hegemonic ideas and the stigmatization of individuals who already suffer.

  • 4.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Cultural Sciences.
    ‘because i am a canvas for pain’: on trapped bodies in fields of representation2012Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Humanities.
    Bloody Art: Oh Lover Boy av Franko B ur ett semiotiskt perspektiv2002In: Perspektiv på samtiden – samtida perspektiv: Forskning om det sena 1900-talets och det nya millenniets konst och visuella kultur / [ed] Kathryn Boyer, Hans Pettersson, Anna Tellgren, Stockholm: Stockholms universitets förlag, 2002, p. 114-121Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Communicating emotions and pain in the digital age2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Photographs showing words cut into the skin constitute a special category of images of self-cutting that can be seen on the internet today. The words are often related to anger, suffering and agony. As I showed in a quantitative study that included over 6 000 six thousand self-injury images, cutting words into one’s own skin might be quite common among self-injurers. Approximately fifteen per cent of the images in the study depicted words mediated through lacerations, blood and scars.

    This material raises important questions about how emotions and feelings are experienced and manifested in different modes. Self-cutting involves both the visual perceived cuts and the nerve transmitted nociceptive experiences of pain. Manifestations that are perceivable by the cutter themselves. But what happens when these manifestations are photographed and published on worldwide networks, and thus become part of collective experiences? These experience are becoming the discursive tool for the production of and negotiations about the meaning of self-cutting (for instance in self-injury communities) in particular but also about the meaning of bodies, emotions and pain on a more general level.

    In this paper I will argue that the media involved in this production of meaning are integrated with each other – they are in symbiosis – to use Varga’s typology. This symbiosis becomes part of a unification of individual bodies that are interacting with each other and thus creating a collective body, with a collective understanding of its emotions and pains. During this process, the individual physical experience of a body is united with a virtual body experience through the interface of the screen. This is a unification that will probably reconstruct the meaning of emotion and pain in the digital age.

  • 7.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Digitalization and the Production of Feeling and Emotion: The Case of Words Cut into the Skin2015In: Acta Universitatis Sapientiae Film and Media Studies, ISSN 2065-5924, E-ISSN 2066-7779, ISSN 2065-5924, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 183-199Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article investigates one example of how affect is articulated in the self-cutting of words into the skin and how the meaning of this multimodal statement is modified through remediation. According to Tomkins, affects are understood as intensities that are impossible to frame as feelings or emotions. A theoretical framework based on Laclau’s and Mouffe’s discourse theory and the multimodal categories developed by Kress and van Leeuwen is used. Photographs of self-cutting and statements from people who cut themselves are examined through content analyses. The results show that words that had been cut into the skin often referred to painful experiences, disgust directed against themselves or social isolation. Further, the study shows that when the cut-in words are remediated through a photograph, digitalized and published online, other meanings appear. Inside Internet communities for people who self-injure, the photographs were associated with a communal experience, identification and prescribed activity. The original self-oriented feelings about one’s shortcomings and isolation attached to self-cutting could be altered so that those connoted, instead, experiences of solidarity, identity and intimacy.

  • 8.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Ellie’s first time: constructing self-cutting in a teen drama2018In: Journal of Gender Studies, ISSN 0958-9236, E-ISSN 1465-3869, Vol. 27, no 5, p. 574-588Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Self-cutting attracted a growing interest in society during the 1990s and the early 2000s, and this was reflected in a similar increase in media during this period. In this article, the example of Ellie Nash’s self-cutting in the teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation is used to investigate articulations of the phenomenon during this period. The starting point is that self-cutting, a behaviour that previously had mostly been connected to masculinity, had to be rearticulated to fit into already established constitutions of femininity. If this was not possible, self-cutting could only be understood as a radical and aggressive behaviour easily connected to movements such as Riot Grrrls that emerged during the same period. With the help of formal and narrative methods, and discourse theory, the scene that includes Ellie’s first cut is analysed. The results of the analysis show that themes such as success, control, family and alternative culture framed self-cutting as being executed by girls who are fragile and vulnerable but also sensible. Even if the things that led up to Ellie’s self-cutting were presented as structural problems, the solution for her was individual conversational therapy, which fitted with the hegemonic neoliberal values that dominated this period.

  • 9.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Lunds universitet.
    Excess och aktionskonst: en semiotisk analys av Hermann Nitschs Das 6-Tage-Spiel med betoning på första dagens Mittagsfinale2004Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The subject for this dissertation is the Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch’s Das 6-Tage-Spiel (1998). The purpose is to examine in what way Das 6-Tage-Spiel, as part of the orgien mysterien theater (hereafter o. m. theater), is an adequate means to realize Nitsch’s intention (as he has described them outside of the work in writings and interviews). Das 6-Tage-Spiel is an example of a category of scenic works that in the dissertation is named action art. The definition of action art is an important part of the dissertation. Typical for action art is an absence of illusory elements; it's composed of non-representative actions, which are conducted in a situation with an obvious spectator function. The absence of fictional settings is dominant and central to action art. In a comparison between action art and other semiotic categories ritual comes closest. In both ritual and action art there's a mix of semiotic actions (that are commenting on the world) and instrumental actions (that change the world) together with an absence of a fictional "I", here and now. A close reading of one scene (Mittagsfinale) from Das 6-Tage-Spiel’s first day reveals a work that consists of the actual staging of dramatic elements (carcasses and crucifixions). Different dichotomies (life and death etc.) are exposed with the goal to unite them in a mysterium coninctionis. The composition is additive (as in a Gesamtkunstwerk) and relies on a redundant repetition of the different leitmotivs. Fundamental for Nitsch is C. G. Jung’s theory of archetypes. A central point in all the actions in Nitsch’s oeuvre is the exposure of real objects that have gained a symbolic value in cultures and religions. With the means that action art provides he gets a possibility to show the true nature of the symbols for those present (audience and participants), according to Nitsch himself, whereby they acquire an understanding of the symbols beyond the limits of speech (and the way language categorizes nature). Nitsch works in a romantic tradition that aims to reunite an existence which has been divided into two halves (for instance in mind and matter). He uses concrete direct expression that does not communicate through speech. In the analysis of Mittagsfinale that's presented in Excess and Action Art an adjusted sign model for action art is being used. The model stresses the importance of a physical level (that a long side with a pictorial and plastic level builds up the sign). For the attendant it's a crucial aspect that it's the real thing that's being used in the action, that it isn't paint instead of blood for instance. The strong reaction from people present in Nitsch’s actions and those who encounter them in a mediated form are due to the non-representative character of o. m. theater. In o. m. theater one is confronted with an experience that's comparable with extreme life events, catastrophes and so on. These states can be experienced as something beyond the scope of language. As in politics, religious action and violent social behavior when the actor runs short of words (or at least they are not sufficient anymore), Nitsch’s work resorts to action. When such actions, as in the case of o. m. theater, take the form of slaughtering animals and exposure of blood it certainly causes a lot of problems regarding the reception from the general public.

  • 10.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Having the voice of depression: an example of pathographic film narratives on YouTube2016In: Presented at Storytelling, Illness and Medicine, 11th Global Meeting of the Health project: Monday 14th March – Wednesday 16th March 2016,Budapest, Hungary, 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Mental health problems among teenagers and young adults have attracted an increasing interest in West media, among scholars and health care workers. Scholars like Frank Furedi (2004) argue that Western societies have developed an emotional therapeutic culture. This paper will take a closer look in how experiences of mental distress are communicated from an inside perspective. Saraphine Stainer’s YouTube video How Depression Effects Someone's Daily Life by (2015)[1] is used as a case in point in an analysis. Theoretically the examination is foundation on the concept that illness and diseases are constructed in a cultural content, at least the expression of them. In this case it means that depression must be communicated in a culturally recognisable way by the distressed, if not this is done the individual runs a risk of not achieving attendance and care according to its needs. Stainer’s video is an example of an online culture where personal experiences is mediated and communicated on a world wide scale. This kind of pathographic storytelling (Hawkins 1999) often follows certain rules that are constituted by the discourse created by the community, in this case the YouTube forum. To achieve a broader discursive understanding of Stainer’s work the comments on her video will therefore be analysed.

    In centre of Steiner’s video is her own body. The video depicts her day from the morning routines and forward in a realistic style that reminds of Danish “dogma” films and New Romanian Cinema. With its self-biographical narrative Steiner provide us with an important example of how affective experiences (Tomkins 1995) are mediated in embodied expressions and digitally transmediated through a video. An analysis of these acts can provide us with a unique situated knowledge of depression

    [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=203pnN95zHY

  • 11.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Having the Voice of Depression: An Example of Pathographic Film Narratives on YouTube2016In: Narrating Illness: Prospects and Constraints / [ed] Joanna Davidson and Yomna Saber, Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2016, p. 221-234Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The mental health problems of teenagers and young adults have attracted an increasing interest in Western media and among scholars and health care workers during the last twenty years. Scholars such as Frank Füredi argue that Western societies have developed an emotional therapeutic culture. This paper will take a closer look at how experiences of mental distress are communicated from an inside perspective. Saraphine Stanier’s YouTube video How Depression Effects Someone’s Daily Life (2015) is analysed as a case in point. Theoretically, the examination is founded on the concept that illness and diseases are constructed in a cultural content, at least the expression of them is. In this case this means that depression must be communicated in a culturally recognisable way by the distressed; if this is not done, the individual runs the risk of not achieving attendance and care according to their needs. Stanier’s video is an example of an online culture in which personal experiences are mediated and communicated on a worldwide scale. This kind of pathographic storytelling often follows certain rules that are constituted by the discourse created by the community, in this case the YouTube forum. The video depicts a girl’s morning routines in a realistic style that is reminiscent of Danish Dogma 95 and Romanian New Wave films. Using an autobiographical narrative, Steiner provides us with an important example of how affective experiences are mediated in embodied expressions and digitally transmediated through a video.

  • 12.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    ‘I like to see blood’: visuality and self-cutting2014In: Visual Studies, ISSN 1472-586X, E-ISSN 1472-5878, Vol. 29, no 1, p. 14-29Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The sight of blood and wounds is described as crucial by individuals who self-injure, especially those who practise self-cutting. An understanding of the visual mode is therefore important to get a deeper understanding of why people choose to cut themselves. In this article, visual aspects of first-hand experiences of self-cutting are investigated. Cutting is understood as having a purpose and a function for people who injure themselves; it releases overwhelming feelings or communicates inner states to the individuals themselves and to others. Material was taken from autobiographical accounts describing cutting episodes and from photographs documenting the act. The analysis was carried out using content and discourse analytic methods. The results were interpreted using a discourse theoretical perspective. A semiotic model is proposed to understand the communicative meaning of the acts. An important finding is the role of conceptual metaphors such as ‘the-body-is-a-container’ and ‘feelings are fluid’, which make self-cutting a logical coping strategy. The role of blood as a central sign in the act was manifest in the written and visual accounts of the self-cutting experience. Blood was related to a wide range of meanings, such as realness and true self, and to feelings such as anger and sadness. Through the drawing of blood, feelings were expressed and understood. Blood was also often aestheticised and rearticulated by self-cutters who acknowledged their deviancy as a group in relation to a hegemonic culture. Concurrent themes were the verbal and visual articulations of cutting in a control discourse as a means to regain control or, sometimes, to give oneself up to an experience of chaos.

  • 13.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    I’m fine: Gender and modest displays of mental distress2017In: HumaNetten, E-ISSN 1403-2279, no 38, p. 167-179Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article I will provide examples of intermedial representations of emotions and feelings that consists ofimages and texts appearing in the same visual field in a meme, that has here has been called the I'm-fine meme. I will argue that this meme can be understood as a sign in a discourse that articulates mental distress in a way that limits the possible ways in which girls and young women can express their experiences of bad feelings.

    The purpose of this study is to examine examples of gendered articulations of mental distress in a special meme, that I name the ‘I'm-fine meme’. It is a meme spread through different internet platforms that combines the text ‘I'm fine’ with an image or images and sometimes also additional texts. It is usually published in an image format (in this case often as jpg/jpeg or png). The I’m-fine meme is characterised by juxtaposing the positive message with contradictive representations of mental distress in textual or image forms. As all internet memes it is characterised by evolving and transforming through mutations or remixes during as it spreads over the internet (Knobel & Lankshear 2005:13–14). In focus are intermedial memes that combine text content with image content. The questions I am asking are as follows: What kinds of articulations of mental distress are found in the I’m-fine meme? Do these articulations follow a genderedbinarism? If so, which attributes of mental distress are connected to gendered coded bodies?

  • 14.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Cultural Sciences.
    Images of Pain: Self-Injurers’ Reflections on Photos of Self-Injury2011In: Pain: Management, Expression, Interpretation / [ed] Andrzej Dańczak and Nicola Lazenby, Oxford, United Kingdom: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2011, p. 131-141Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Photographs of self-injury are a powerful tool for communicating pain (in a broadsense of the word, including ‘inner’, non-physical pain caused by inner turmoil or anxiety). They appear quite frequently on the internet and are often perceived as dangerously seductive and triggering, to the extent that websites can be forced to withdraw this kind of material. Publishing photos of self-injury can also lead toaccusations of attention- seeking, or competing to be the worst self-injurer. Anoften repeated feature of an inauthentic self-injurer is that s/he publishes photos of self-inflicted wounds and scars. As part of an ongoing study on visual representations of self-injury on the internet, members of a self-injury communitywere asked to reflect on the production, publication and consumption of photos of self-injury. Over fifty informants, both active and former self-injurers, participated in the survey. Prejudices about exposure to self-injury photos leading to anexacerbation of self-injury were not supported by the study. Positive effects, like alleviation, or being warned against the consequences of self-injury, were frequent,and the soothing effect of the photos was often emphasised. The answers from the survey create a complex picture, showing how self-injury photographs are part of a community culture; used to control the self-injurious behaviour, and as acommunicative device. The self-injury culture is reliant on expressions of empathy and solidarity. Pain is the basis of its communication, and, with the help of photographs, pain can be remembered, imagined and transferred. The self-injurycommunity revolves around a notion of shared experience of pain; photographs of self-injury are one of the resources for sharing and for building its communal ground.

  • 15.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Ingmari, flickan och jag: Hans T Sternudd läser Simone de Beauvoir2013In: Tidskrift för Genusvetenskap, ISSN 1654-5443, E-ISSN 2001-1377, no 2-3, p. 52-54Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 16.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Learning from Transmediation2016In: Transmediations! Communication across Media Borders: Abstracts : Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden, October 13-15, 2016, Linnaeus University , 2016, p. 121-121Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The point of departure of this paper is the notion of affect, an intensive and chaotic experience that need to be terminated. For the individual it is necessary to transform the intense experience to feelings or emotions, both social communicable qualities. Transformations are made possible through semiotic systems, like language. It is tempting to understand transformation as transmediation but, as affect is “something” chaotic and thus, by definition impossible to frame in a semiotic system, no mediation is at hand in the first place (which is required for a transmediation). When individuals are mediating affective experiences through transformations they gain knowledge, as mediation according Säljö is a process of learning. These mediations can either connect to already established articulations or be renegotiations of these. Focus in this paper will be on the transformations of the mediated affects. Mediations of mental distress (understood here as affect) will be used as a case in point, mediations that can take shape of bodily configurations, for instance self-injury. Representations of these mediations transmediated as, for instance photos, drawings or poems are often published on internet by those experiencing mental distress. Arguably they can trough these transmediations and publications obtain additional knowledge of their experience. The purpose with this paper is to discuss how different modes, media and mediums, with their particular capacities, can make various kind of knowledge possible for individuals experiencing mental distress. It will suggest a theoretical framework for the articulatory process from affect to transmediation, passing the mediating stage.

  • 17.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Modes of pain: reflections on the self-injury experience2014In: Painful conversations: making pain sens(e)ible / [ed] Hans T. Sternudd, Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2014, 1, p. 147-165Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Answers from a group of fifty self-injurers active in an internet community to a questionnaire addressing issues about photographs of self-injury raised questions about how pain is communicated and takes part in constituting individuals. A situated knowledge reflecting a first-hand experience of self-injury experience is acknowledged in this study. The results from the questionnaire did not confirm assumptions that being exposed to or producing photographs of self-injury is harmful. Self-injury photos were inscribed in discourses that emphasised both negative and positive aspects, with both triggering and soothing outcomes. Articulations in control and sharing discourses were frequent. With the help of discourse and multimodality theories, self-injury photos were defined as one of several modes to articulate pain: aim that was not be understood as a physical pain, but as a life-threatening chaos that needed to be controlled by language. Communities for self-injurers provide many opportunities for self-injurers to express and communicate pain in different genres and modes. Self-injurers’ activities are seen in the light of a philosophy that recognises pain as a constitutional force for subjects. The discourse theoretical approach shows that the skin can be seen as the arena where ‘inner‘ and ‘outer‘ experiences are interpreted through language and also constitute the subject. Self-injury experiences are concluded to be expressions of an individual who resists destructive forces of pain that threaten his/her existence by marking the skin and drawing contours on the place where the individual is established, in an attempt to become.

  • 18.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Painful conversations: making pain sens(e)ible2014Collection (editor) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Painful Conversations is an interdisciplinary anthology about pain. Problems concerning communicating and understanding pain are discussed with examples that stretches from literature to caretaking, from self-induced pain in religious and cultural contexts to problems of pain in theological and philosophical perspectives.

  • 19.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Cultural Sciences.
    Photographs of self-injury: Production and reception in a group of self-injurers2012In: Journal of Youth Studies, ISSN 1367-6261, E-ISSN 1469-9680, Vol. 15, no 4, p. 421-436Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Photographs of self-injury (SI) on the Internet, according to the literature and the wider media, spread and encourage self-destructive behaviour, although very little is known about these effects. A group of self-injurers was questioned about the reasons for producing and looking at photos of SI, and were asked about their reaction to exposure of them. The informants confirmed that the effects were alleviating rather than the opposite, and the production of the images was often related to notions about memory and proof. To publish them was apprehended as a way of sharing experiences with others and to give and/or receive help. Photographs of self-injuries were described as one resource of a SI community culture. Informants often emphasised that the outcome of watching these photos varies due to individual and situational differences. The results of the study are inconsistent with unfounded presumptions about photographs of SI, which are replaced with a nuanced and contradictory picture.

  • 20.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Cultural Sciences.
    Self-injury places in a  semiotic perspective2011Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Self-injury practice involves activities that take place on the skin. In this paper I argue that this activity is not only taking place on the skin; the cutting is also creating a special place – a wounded skin. From this domain stories of emotional distress and/or disorders are communicated.

    Skin is often apprehended as the surface of the individual, and giving it to much attention is interpreted as expressions of superficiality or shallowness. As a point of departure this paper suggests that the wounded cut up skin of a self-injurer contradicts these notions. In this reading skin becomes the place where identity is produced as a discursive meeting between an apprehended inner self and a world posit outside. Superficiality is not something pejorative - it's all there is.

    On internet self-injurers create communities where members share stories, discuss experiences and show images of their wounds - different modalities that are expressing a common semiotic principle. Verbal and visual  texts reveal how a place (the place of the wounded skin) is constructed with the help of different modes - based on the principle of the cut. This principle can refer to loss of control, of being a victim - but also the opposite, as an act of agents formulating aggressive response against an intolerable situation.

  • 21.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Skärande subjekt i svensk dagspress 1981-20022018In: Plats för makt: En vänbok till Monika Edgren / [ed] Ulrika Holgersson, Helena Tolvhed, Göteborg: Makadam Förlag, 2018, p. 277-292Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 22.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Humanities.
    Smärtans gobeläng: bilder av självskador2008In: Valör, ISSN 0283-751X, no 2, p. 28-40Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 23.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Cultural Sciences.
    – So, why do you cut? Self-injury and Interpellation: the Case of Ellie Nash2011Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Questions about self-injury has attracted extensively interest during the last decades, the phenomena is said to have increased among adolescent females and young women. Self-injury is predominantly understood as a reaction to inner distress of various kind or as a fashion spread through different cultures (for instance various youth cultures like goth or EMO). In this paper I understand SI as a combination of those perspectives, which means that self-injury is understood as a reaction to feeling of badness but the way this is expressed are relying on resources activated in cultures.  Using the character Ellie Nash from the Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation as case this paper discuss questions about visual representations and discourses of bodies in crisis.

    I suggest that a majority of self-injurers harm themselves because they are “taught” how to react to discomfort through interpersonal communication and cultural expressions, here I focus on the later. Theoretically this view is supported by interpellation and discourse theories, as well as research on cultural diseases and symptoms.

    As the ethnologist Anna Johansson has observed the body of a self-injurer has become a “tool” to express inner crises – a “soul” in pain. The injured body communicate or visualise invisible feelings and emotions. Through history people always has had feelings of distress for various reasons, but the way these are expressed is varying over time due to different cultural practises. Self-injury has today become a meaningful way of expressing inner emotions. Here mediated narratives and visualisations becomes an important source, through them people can learn why self-injury is practiced, in which situations and how the act is executed. And maybe most important who is self-injuring – which creates possibilities of identification. Media provides narratives, manuscripts and role models to follow and reproduce. The character Ellie Nash that starts to injure herself during the third season of Degrassi: The Next Generation is one example of how this can be done. A reason for choosing Nash as a case is that she was pointed out by one informant that took part in my research as her introduction to self-injuring behaviour. Nash seems also to be important for many others judging from all the clips of her on YouTube. By examine her story we can begin to understand how self-injury can be explained and made intelligible, how it’s narrated, which props that is used, costume etc. We will also see how the activity is inscribed as a gendered practice.

  • 24.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Cultural Sciences.
    The Discourse of Cutting: A Study of Visual Representations of Self-Injury on the Internet2010In: Making Sense of Pain: Critical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives / [ed] Fernandez, Jane, Oxford, United Kingdom: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2010, p. 237-248Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this chapter some results from a study of over 6000 photographs of self-inflicted injuries is presented. The typical image is taken by somebody that presents themselves as females; it depicts a body part: an arm which has been cut. Seldom contextualised content is represented. Analyses from a traditional feminists perspective is likely to produce an interpretation that these images shows feminine bodies victimized under a patriarchal oppression. But here an alternative interpretation that focus on the fact that the few contextualised features makes identifications possible for many people regardless of sex, culture, class, race etc. The images emphasize the body and the wound, entities that ‘everybody’ can relate to. We should also consider the aggressive character of the act of cutting. Therefore an alternative interpretation is suggested that emphasize cutting as an act of resistance from a position that’s not necessary based on traditional gender formations. The place for this struggle is the skin and the paper concludes with a suggestion that skin is not only the place for cutting but also the actual place for discursive closure and establishing of identity.

  • 25.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Cultural Sciences.
    The Discourse of Cutting: Regaining Control and Meaning Making2011In: How Does It Feel?: Making sense of Pain / [ed] Hans T. Sternudd and Angela Tumini, Oxford, United Kingdom: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2011, p. 75-98Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The point of departure for this discussion on pain and identity is an examination ofover 6,000 photos of self-injury, taken from an Internet site. The central issue isself-injury in the form of skin cutting. With a perspective derived from discourseanalysis and feminism, these images are analysed as semiotic and linguistic entitiesthat communicate important messages from bodies in a postmodern society.Notions of the sublime, obscene and other conceptions of limitlessness are centralto the understanding of cutting and the images of it. A discussion of ElaineScarry’s definition on pain leads to an understanding of pain not as a physicalsensation but as a semantic state of chaos, of disorder and trauma. Cutting could beseen as a means to (re)create order and as an expression of anger and resistancewhich has a hidden political potential. Cutting by women also challengeshegemonic notions on femininity. By using psychoanalytic theories of the skin’simportance for identity, the article ends with a suggestion that the actual placewhere identity is constituted is the skin. This theory gives an understanding as towhy skin is being cut as a way to re-establish order when the subject is threatened.

  • 26.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Lunds universitet.
    The Proposal: An Adjusted Sign Model for Action Art: The Example: Nitsch’s o. m. theatre2000In: VISIO, ISSN 1026-8340, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 27-39Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 27. Sternudd, Hans T
    Till handling: ett halvsekel av svensk aktionskonst2003In: Visslingar & Rop, ISSN 1401-5307, Vol. 1, no 15, p. 86-102Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 28.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Voices of Depression: An Analysis of a Collective Narrative2019In: Voices of Illness: Negotiating Meaning and Identity / [ed] Peter Bray, Leiden; Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2019, p. 171-199Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this chapter the articulations of mental distress among young people are analysed. The main part of the material for the study was collected from the comments section of an autobiographical YouTube video about depression. Additional material emanated from comments on and references to other YouTube videos and media. The material was analysed using a content analytic method and the result was interpreted using a discourse theoretical framework. In line with this discursive approach, a constructive perspective on illness was emphasised in the analysis and interpretation. The study showed how the video is part of a YouTube genre of videos produced by young people that addresses depression and other types of mental distress. The study shows how collective and supportive groups can evolve in internet milieus, like the analysed comments sections. Important features that were needed for creation of the analysed group were a communal autobiographical storytelling about mental distress in general and depression specifically. Through these stories a narrative evolved that articulated the illness and the subjects’ suffering from it. The characterisation of the latter could be summed up in the themes of isolation, concealment and self-destruction. They often apprehended themselves as mistreated and neglected, and their suffering was sometimes described as predetermined. This articulation also relied on the constitution of an outside world inhabited by grown-ups, parents and professionals that did not understand and deprived them of help. The outcome of the study indicated a reinforcing aspect of these communities: communicating with their peers shows individuals that they are not alone. At the same time, dwelling on the problem can create an atmosphere that reinforces social deviancy and possible destructive behaviours.

  • 29.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Johansson, Anna
    HUMlab, Umeå University.
    The Girl in the Corner: Aesthetics of Suffering in a Digitalized Space2015In: Narratives of Suffering: Meaning and Experience in a Transcultural Approach / [ed] Lolita Guimarães Guerra, Jose A. Nicdao, Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2015, p. 105-115Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Internet may provide the means for otherwise marginalized groups – such asyoung people with mental health problems – to make their voices heard in public,and online representations are therefore an important source for studying howemotions are conceptualized and communicated in these groups. In an on-goingstudy of YouTube video montages on the subject of self-injury, we have found oneemblematic and frequently occurring character: a girl sitting alone in a corner, onthe floor, with drawn up knees and head bent down. Images of this character arewidespread, not only on YouTube but also on blogs, discussion forums and websites.Together with her likewise sitting ‘sisters’ – the girl on the swing, the girl on the pierand on the railway track – she is taken to represent young people’s unhappiness, painand misery. Our chapter sets out to explore in greater detail how this characteremerges as a signifier of gendered suffering in online contexts. We argue that itcontributes to an aestheticization of suffering that often seems to emanate from therejection of conventional ideals and hegemonic definitions of normality; theembracing of suffering might, thus, be used as a strategy for achieving socialdistinction. Also, we suggest in our chapter that the girl in the corner and similarrepresentations may be seen as facilitating certain emotional identifications,especially as regards gender.

  • 30.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Johansson, Anna
    Umeå universitet.
    The girl in the corner: aesthetics of suffering in a digitalized space2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Internet may provide the means for otherwise marginalized groups – such as young people with mental ill health – to make their voices heard in public, and online representations have therefore become an important source for studying how emotions are conceptualized and communicated in these groups. In an ongoing study of YouTube video montages on the subject of self-injury, we have found one emblematic and frequently occuring character: a girl sitting alone in a corner, on the floor, with drawn up knees and head bent down. This image is widely spread, not only on YouTube but also on blogs, discussion forums and websites. Together with her likewise sitting ‘sisters’ – the girl on the swing, the girl on the pier and on the railway track – she is taken to represent young people’s suffering: unhappiness, pain, misery. Our paper sets out to explore how these images are deployed as signifiers of suffering in online contexts. Particular focus is on the ways in which the aesthetics of suffering is circulated and reinterpreted through the digital, where search engines and other media-specific affordances play an important part. We argue further that these examples contribute to an aestheticization of suffering that often seem to emanate from the rejection of conventional ideals and hegemonic definitions of normality; the embracing of suffering might, thus, be used as a strategy for achieving social distinction. Also, we suggest in our paper that the girl in the corner and other representations may be seen as facilitating certain structures of feeling and emotional identifications, especially as regards gender.

  • 31.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Cultural Sciences.
    Tumini, AngelaChapman University in California.
    How Does It Feel?: Making Sense of Pain2011Collection (editor) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This volume represents a multi-disciplinary investigation of the puzzle of pain. The concept of pain is immensely broad,  encompassing psychological, physical and existential suffering; it enters into many areas of personal life and can acquire deep personal meanings and be expressed in a myriad of ways. At the same time, the ways in which we think of pain are influenced by collective understandings which are historically situated, embedded as they are, at any given time, in mutual engagements that result from shared stories of suffering. Pain both challenges and changes attention, and daily life must be adapted to accommodate it. The communication of pain is a complex nested relationship where a great deal can be at stake; therefore meanings are constructed, often in order that the dread of uncertainty may be bypassed.  In this process, the actual nature of the pain and the attendant suffering are often obscured. The body of scholarly work presented in this volume has contributed to our understanding of pain-in-context through incisive studies of a variety of exigencies of life where pain and suffering occur, and where personal and collective suffering are intertwined. Our pervasive anxiety about suffering is grounded in its enormous complexity and in the intricate connections that exist between the vicissitudes of pain and our responses to it. Pain is ambiguous, sometimes even mysterious; it is anxiety-provoking and disruptive, and yet we can also learn from it. Sadly, we inflict it, too, intentionally or in the course of actions directed toward other aims. The contributors to this volume address a variety of these intricate issues, though not always in a conclusive way. Pain remains enigmatic, elusive and endlessly fascinating, just like human existence itself.

  • 32.
    Sternudd, Hans T.
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
    Wallin Wictorin, Margareta
    Karlstad University, Sweden.
    Att etablera konstvetenskap i det 21:a århundradet: Exemplen Växjö och Karlstad2019In: Hundra år av svensk konsthistoria – och sen?: 13-14 juni 2019, Humanistiska teatern, Campus Engelska parken, Uppsala, 2019Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    1960-talets Sverige präglades av expansion och utbyggnad av viktiga samhällsinstitutioner och ökad efterfrågan på högre utbildning. Riksdag och regering beslutade att universitets-filialer skulle etableras i Karlstad, Linköping, Växjö och Örebro från 1967, så att den högre utbildningen skulle komma fler människor till del och fler delar av landet få tillgång till avancerad kunskap. Det dröjde ett tag innan denna utbyggnad kom det konstvetenskapliga ämnet till del. Det fanns dock efterfrågan från flera håll. Den expanderande lärarutbildningens inslag av bildpedagogik krävde konst- och bildkunniga lärare, designutbildningarna efterfrågade designhistorisk kunskap och de kulturhistoriska institutionerna mötte önskemål om utbildning i konsthistoria.I detta kapitel kommer vi att redogöra för hur ämnet konst- och bildvetenskap etablerades vid universiteten i Växjö och Karlstad vid det senaste millennieskiftet, det vill säga ca 100 år efter den första etableringen av ämnet i Sverige. Vi avser att diskutera de olika förutsättningar som rådde inom akademin och samhället, och jämföra hur de påverkade inriktning och möjlighet till profilering den första gången ämnet instiftades i Lund och Uppsala med den sista, i alla fall den senaste, gången, i Karlstad och Växjö.Vi avser att beskriva hur ämnena har vuxit fram inom de båda universiteten och hur de utvecklats. Vår text kommer att analysera hur organisatoriska strukturer på lärosätena och allianser med andra ämnen påverkade ämnena i såväl undervisnings- som forskningshänseende. Vi avser att beskriva hur likheter och skillnader mellan konstvetenskap och bildpedagogik breddade repertoaren av relevanta metoder och teorier, vilket var betydelsefullt för utvecklingen av mellanliggande områden såsom konstpedagogik. Samarbete med designutbildning gav konstvetarna praktisk förankring av teoretiska kunskaper och bidrog till de blivande designernas utveckling av historisk och teoretisk förståelse av sin yrkesmässiga verksamhet.Intresset för ämnets verksamhet inom regionala konst- och kulturorganisationer har också gett en god förankring inom arbetslivet, vilket också kan kopplas till studenternas deltagande i utbildningsprogram med stor samhällsrelevans.

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