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Trans Cinema and Its Exit Scapes: A Transfeminist Reading of Utopian Sensibility and Gender Dissidence in Contemporary Film
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, The Department of Gender Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Trans Cinema and its Exit Scapes offers a critical and creative intervention into cultural representations of gendered body dissidence in contemporary film. The study argues for the possibility of finding spaces of “disidentification”, so-called “exit scapes” within the films. Exit scapes disrupt the dominant cinematic regime set up for the trans character, which ties them into stories of discrimination, humiliation and violence. In Trans Cinema, for instance films such as Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001), Transamerica (2005), Romeos (2011) and Laurence Anyways (2012), scenes of singing, dancing and dreaming allow a different form of engagement with the films. As argued here, they allow a critical re-reading and an affirmative re-imagining of trans embodiment. The aim of this study is to investigate the utopian and hopeful potential within Trans Cinema from a critical transfeminist perspective. While focusing in particular on trans entrants as “spectators” or readers, this study draws on the work of a wide range of feminist and cultural scholars, such as Sara Ahmed, Susan Stryker, José Esteban Muñoz, Trinh T. Minh-Ha, Karen Barad and Donna Haraway.

The thesis etches out cinematic spatiotemporalities that unfold possibilities of utopian worlding and trans becoming through a set of conceptual innovations. By utilising a critical approach to audio-visuality and feminist film theory, the thesis re-conceptualises haptic spectatorship theory and its critique in western modernist ocularcentricism through a set of conceptual innovations. The methodological tools developed in this thesis, such as the “entrant”, the “exit scape” and “sensible cinematic intra-activity”, feature here as a multisensorial methodology for transdisciplinary transgender studies and feminist film theory as well as visual culture at large.

Abstract [sv]

Trans Cinema and its Exit Scapes är en kritisk och kreativ intervention med fokus på kulturella representationer av kroppar som bryter mot en könsbinär ordning i samtida film. Studien argumenterar för möjligheten att hitta utrymmen för “disidentification”, så kallade “exit scapes” inom filmerna. Exit scapes stör den dominanta filmiska ordning som skapats för transkaraktären, en ordning som är förbunden med berättelser om diskriminering, förödmjukelse och våld. Inom Trans Cinema, i filmer som exempelvis Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001), Transamerica (2005), Romeos (2011) and Laurence Anyways (2012), öppnar scener med sång, dans och drömmar upp för andra former av engagemang med filmerna. Som det argumenteras för i avhandlingen tillåter dessa ett kritiskt omformulerande av, och ett nytt affirmativt sätt att föreställa sig, transkroppslighet. Syftet med den här studien är att undersöka den utopiska och hoppfulla potential som finns inom transfilm utifrån ett kritiskt transfeministiskt perspektiv. Även om studien främst riktar sig till trans entrants som “åskådare” eller läsare, så har den en bred teoretisk bas hämtad från verk av en lång rad feministiska forskare inom kulturfältet, såsom Sara Ahmed, Susan Stryker, José Esteban Muñoz, Trinh T. Minh-Ha, Karen Barad och Donna Haraway.

Denna avhandling skissar filmiska spatiotemporaliteter, vilka öppnar för möjligheter av utopiska värdsliga och transsubjektiva tillblivelser genom utvecklandet av olika teoretiska begrepp. Genom ett kritiskt förhållningssätt till audiovisualitet och feministisk filmteori, revideras och omformuleras haptisk åskådarskapsteori och dess kritik i en västerländsk okularcentrism genom olika teoretiska innovationer. De metodologiska verktygen som utvecklas i avhandlingen, såsom “the entrant”, “the exit scape” samt “sensible cinematic intra-activity” utgör här funktionen som multisensorisk metodologi för transdisciplinära transstudier, feministisk filmteori samt för visuell kultur i stort.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. , 251 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 628
Keyword [en]
Transgender studies, transfeminism, queer, gender, feminism, multisensorial cinema, haptic spectatorship, touch, hearing, seeing, exit scapes, sensible cinematic intra-activity, Trans Cinema, visual cultural studies, film theory
Keyword [sv]
Transstudier, transfeminism, queer, genus, feminism, multisensorisk film, haptic spectatorship, beröring/känsel, hörsel, seende, exit scapes, sensible cinematic intra-activity, trans cinema, visuella kulturstudier, filmteori
National Category
Gender Studies Cultural Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-110049DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-110049ISBN: 978-91-7519-254-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-110049DiVA: diva2:742465
Public defence
2014-09-19, TEMCAS, Hus T, Campus Valla, Linköpings univeristet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-09-01 Created: 2014-09-01 Last updated: 2014-11-28Bibliographically approved

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Straube, Wibke

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