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Queer Theory Presentation (2004)
 

Queer Theory Presentation (2004)

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2004 presentation by Armando Alfaro & Joanna Robinson, for 4th year Communications class.

2004 presentation by Armando Alfaro & Joanna Robinson, for 4th year Communications class.

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    Queer Theory Presentation (2004) Queer Theory Presentation (2004) Presentation Transcript

    • Queer Theory COMM 4P30 Presentation Armando Alfaro & Joanna Robinson Friday, October 29 th 2004
    • Agenda/Key Issues
      • What or who exactly is queer? (& what is queer theory?)
      • Concerns addressed by Queer Theory:
        • Issues of representation/misrepresentation
        • Ideology & Hegemonic forces regarding gender & sexuality
        • Mainstreaming/commercialization of Queer culture
      • Subversive modes, audience reception & changes in mass culture representations
        • Queer readings of popular text
        • Camp as a subversive mode of opposition
    • Queer Theory
      • Revolves around sexual minorities within mass culture/media
      • An intellectual extension of the Gay & Lesbian rights movement.
      • Recognizes Queers as a disadvantaged class in society whose voices are obscured, misrepresented in, or omitted from mainstream popular culture.
    • Queer Theory
        • Thomas Waugh (1997) terms this school of thought “Gender/Queer Theory” in Between the Sheets in the Streets , which examines Queer documentary.
      • Social Constructionism vs Biological Essentialism
      • Question: Do you believe Gender & Sexuality is completely constructed by societal forces?
      • Question: What are some of the ways this can be seen as taking place?
    • Alexander Doty (1993) Something Queer Here
      • Aligns his analysis with Audience & Reception Theory
        • Queer positions
        • Queer readings
        • Queer pleasures
      • Articulates concern for youth audiences since the realm of mass culture greatly “influence[s] our identity construction”.
    • What or who is Queer?
      • “Queer” = Unity + Diversity
      • Queer as inclusive of Gay & Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender communities
      • Making Things Perfectly Queer: Interpreting Mass Culture
      • Question: “Whose text is it anyway?”
    • Larry Gross – Out Of The Mainstream
      • - Sexual minorities and their place in mass media
      • - television upholds mainstream values (dominant ideology) and “normalizes” them
      • - minority positions that challenge status quo are not ignored, but discredited
      • - homosexual/queers positions challenge societal gender roles
    • Larry Gross – Out Of The Mainstream
      • Stereotyping present in depictions of queerness
      • ie) TV movies aimed at straight audiences
      • Resistance and Opposition:
      • 1) “Ignoring” mass media
      • 2)Subversion
      • 3)Self-representation
    • Critiques of Queer Theory
      • Terminology – Gender Theory
      • Reading too much into things?
        • Heterosexual assumption that a same sex pair of screen characters that have a bond must be gay.
        • Homosexual undertones/humour used to reinforce the “rightness” of heterosexuality.
      • Exclusion of other disenfranchised lifestyles?
    • Concerns addressed by Queer Theory
      • Issues of representation/misrepresentation
        • Exclusion/omission
        • Stereotypes
        • Mainstreaming of Queer culture
        • Big Gay Al
        • Austin Powers II: The Spy Who Shagged Me
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      • Ideology & Hegemonic forces regarding gender & sexuality
      • “Normalizing” gender roles
      • White, male, heterosexual as the norm
      • Institutionalized – politics, church, education, the traditional family etc
      • Vern & Bonnie Bullough (1993)
      • Gender roles are equated with masculinity and femininity, male as provider, female as nurturer
      • These two concepts can help us understand how gender is a social construction directly linked to heterosexual roles.
        • Gender Identity – Self conceived
        • Gender Role – As it is perceived by others
      • According to dominant ideology, these should both be equal or the same.
      • This ideology about gender roles and sexuality is constantly reinforced throughout the majority of mass culture.
    • Camp as a subversive mode of opposition
      • Gay subtexts – pre-Gay rights movement
      • Camp as the intellectual subversive presence in mass culture
      • Rabbit In Drag
      • Gender play/bending – David Bowie, Prince
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    • Queer Readings of Popular Text
      • Audience & Reception Theory
        • The study of how audiences interpret by looking at the social setting and context.
          • Denotation - Encoding
          • Connation – Decoding of the message
      • This view places the audience as an active participant within mass culture, sometimes challenging the status quo.
      • The Odd Couple, Buddy films
      • Billie Holiday
      • Identifying with strong, independent female celebrities Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Janet Jackson
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    • Media Texts about Queer experience
      • Paris Is Burning
      • Texts about Queer experience, often made for a straight audience
      • Question – Is Madonna appropriating Queer culture or paying homage to it?
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      • Mainstreaming of Queer culture / Appropriation
        • Lesbian chic/lesbianism made ok in media texts because of male fantasy alignment
        • Madonna & Britney, T.A.T.U., Dreamworlds II
      • Use of stereotypes and “blanching” of gay culture, toning it down
      • Will & Grace vs Queer As Folk
      • Queer Eye For the Straight Guy
        • Question – Are these positive or negative depictions of Queer culture & to what audience do they speak?
        • What are the implications of such depictions?
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    • Media Texts by/for Queers
      • Dorothy Arzner - Dance, Girl, Dance
      • Wachowski Brothers - Bound
      • Questions conventions of film genres & depictions such as the Gangster film
      • Gangster film has been traditionally associated with negative depictions of female sexuality
      • Internet as site of new wave of bottom up resistance to metanarratives about sexuality
      • Brock Press & bulletin boards recent issue
    • Dorothy Arzner
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    • Conclusions
      • Question: Where is Queer Theory now? Do you see movement toward the sorts of goals articulated by Doty and Gross?
      • Queer Theory has helped to bring about an awareness of the embedded nature of messages in media texts as well as looking critically at these messages about what is “normal”.
      • As an intellectual extension of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender movement, it is still seeking to improve upon the misrepresentation and lack of representation of diverse perspectives in mass culture.
    • Bibliography
      • Able, Sam. (1995). “The Rabbit in Drag.” Journal of Popular Culture, 29 , 183-202.
      • Adam, Barry. (1995). The Rise of Gay and Lesbian Movement. New York: Twayne Publishers.
      • Alexander, Jonathan (2002). Queer Sites: Studying the Construction and Representation of Queer Identities on the World Wide Web International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies, 7.2-3, 85-106.
      • Bullough, Vern & Bullough, Bonnie. (1993). Cross Dressing, Sex, and Gender . Philadelphia: University Of Pennsylvania Press.
      • DeCecco, John & Elia, John, eds. (1993). If You Seduce A Straight Person, Can You Make Them Gay?: Issues in Biological Essentialism versus Social Constructionism in Gay and Lesbian Identities. New York: Harrington Park Press.
      • Doty, Alenxander & Creekmur, Corey K., eds.(1995). Out In Culture . U. S.: Duke University Press.
      • Hanscombe, Gillian & Humphries, Martin. (1987). Heterosexuality . London: GMP Publishers Ltd.
      • Kinsman, Gary. (1987). The Regulation of Desire: Sexuality in Canada . Montreal: Black Rose Books.
      • Leap, William & Boellstorff, Tom, eds. (2004). Speaking in Queer Tongues: Globalization and Gay Language . Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
      • Lorimer, Rowland & Gasher, Mike. (2001). Mass Communication in Canada . Ontario, Canada: Oxford University Press.
      • Waugh, Thomas, Holmlund, Chris & Fuchs, Cynthia, eds. (1997). “Walking on Tippy Toes: Lesbian and Gay Liberation Documentary.” from Between The Sheets, In the Streets .