On the front page: Shelley Jackson’s feminist hypertext autobiography
On Rhizome's front page this week is Shelley Jackson's my body - a Wunderkammer (1997), a semi-autobiographical hypertext narrative that combines text and image in an exploration of a personal bodily history. Clicking on areas of a white-on-black woodcut-style portrait of a woman's body brings up pages dedicated to specific body parts—the elbow, hip, toenail, or a tattoo—with first-person anecdotes and meditations.
The work reflects a broader 1990s tendency toward feminist autobiography in hypertext literature. In her 1999 article "Wired Women Writing," for example, Laura Sullivan argued that hypertext's fragmented, multilinear qualities built on this existing literary tradition, which had the potential to "connect the feminist call to value women's personal experience with both the postmodern belief that discourse produces our understandings of our 'selves' and the materialist feminist recognition that our experiences are situated in history..."