Shared blood: An analysis of menstrual blood as enchanted matter in depictions of menstrual art on Instagram



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This dissertation explores the myriad ways in which images shared on the social media platform Instagram convey menstrual blood as a form of vibrant matter. The study interprets the inherent fluidity of menstrual blood as an invitation to play with definitions of what constitutes blood itself in art. To this effect, I analyze images depicting actual menstrual blood— including stains, leaks, and menstrala—as well as images that depict visual menstrual blood metaphors. Through a textual and visual analysis of a curated sample of menstrual art that ranges broadly in mode and style, I present emerging sanguineous epistemologies. My dissertation touches on important conversations in Women’s and Gender Studies topics such as the body, sexuality, femininity, horror, and the abject as they relate to menstrual blood on Instagram.



Menstruation, Instagram, Body, Blood, Menstrual art, Art, Digital art, Social media, Female, Feminine, Women, Women's studies, Subversive, Vibrant matter, Enchantment, Agency