Eliza Sellen


This paper provides an analysis of Missy Elliott as a contemporary icon, using the innovation and creativity of two of her music videos (One Minute Man and She’s A Bitch), as media texts that both illuminate and disrupt feminist frameworks of identity. This paper begins with a discussion of the ways in which Elliott subverts and revises cultural signifiers; particular attention is paid to female embodiment and sexuality, blackness and power. The paper moves to discuss the visual landscape created through this cultural play, and explores this terrain through the theoretical frameworks of science fiction and technology.

This paper then turns to the idea of female patterns of identity as developed by Christine Battersby in The Phenomenal Woman; a framework which holds on to both a fluid and re-constructed female identity. It is the argument of this paper that Elliott gives creative expression to this philosophical position; illustrating the fluid and changeable patterns of identity that limitlessly re-configure in ways that retain political potency.

Author Biography

Eliza Sellen wrote this paper while studying for an MA in Philosophy and Social Theory at the University of Warwick. She is now working as a tutor in the Centre for Visual and Cultural Studies at Edinburgh College of Art and will be returning to Warwick later in 2005 in order to continue her research into music videos and identity.