State of Transformation: Drag Queen Masculinity in Two Scottish Texts

Dec. 1, 2009

“Stop aw this homophobic shite: it’s a total drag” –Welsh, ‘A Smart Cunt’ (245) [1] ‘Drag’, the practice of cross-dressing and performing as the opposite gender, can be homophobic, suggests an against-the-grain reading of this quote from Irvine Welsh. Such a notion disturbs and complicates the stereotypical association of drag...

Section 377 and the “Trouble with Statism”: Legal Intervention and Queer Performativity in Contemporary India

Nov. 1, 2009

Setting the terms: after the Fire [1] While it would be problematic to fix a monolithic moment of change from invisibility to visibility in the context of queer citizenship in India, it could be argued that the events following the screening of Fire (1997) performed an important epistemic shift in...

Raskolnikova: Rodion Romanovich’s Struggle with the Woman Within

Oct. 1, 2009

[1] Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov’s delirium-filled wanderings about Saint Petersburg and his subsequent encounters with various abused and anonymous young women are necessary catalysts to his eventual self-discovery as well as paradigms for Crime and Punishment. The recurrence of nameless, poverty-stricken waifs throughout the novel creates an associative structure that forces...

Striking the Posture of a Whore: The Bawdy House Riots and the “Antitheatrical Prejudice”

Sept. 1, 2009

[1] In his oft-cited defense of metaphysical poetry T.S. Eliot provocatively comments on what he terms a seventeenth-century “dissociation of sensibility,” an aesthetic sea change “from which we have never recovered” (288). For Eliot, the English Restoration saw the emergence of a new aesthetic economy that divorced idea from sensation,...

Out of Wedlock: The Consummation and Consumption of Marriage in Contemporary Romance Fiction

Aug. 1, 2009

[1] To the marriage of true minds, romance fiction has not admitted many impediments. The genre has long relied on the marriage closure in the tradition of the fairytale happily-ever-after, and because love and marriage continue to “go together” in popular culture discourses, many critics of the genre have taken...

Shepherding Romance: Reviving the Politics of Romantic Love in Brokeback Mountain

July 2, 2009

[1] The recent film, Brokeback Mountain, directed by Ang Lee and based on Annie Proulx’s short story, received an overwhelmingly admiring response from newspaper and magazine film critics, won a series of prominent film awards, and roused a large, fervent fan base. Several large on-line discussion forums created in the...

Are You Finally Comfortable in Your Own Skin?: The Raced and Classed Imperatives for Somatic/Spiritual Salvation in The Swan

June 1, 2009

[1] When Sylvia is selected to be a contestant on Fox’s makeover and pageant reality show The Swan, we are told that she has faced a lifetime of romantic rejection because of her appearance. In documentary-style footage, Sylvia critiques her bikini-clad body in front of a mirror, speaking of her...

Misfortune and Men’s Eyes: Voyeurism, Sorrow, and the Homosocial in Three Early Brian De Palma Films

May 1, 2009

[1] In her groundbreaking essay “When the Woman Looks,” Linda Williams argues that “Brian De Palma’s film Dressed to Kill extends Psycho ‘s premise by holding the woman [Kate Miller, played by Angie Dickinson] responsible for the horror that destroys her” (94). De Palma extends much more than Psycho’s premise...

Lily: Sold Out! The Queer Feminism of Lily Tomlin

April 1, 2009

[1] Lily Tomlin was perhaps at the peak of her mainstream fame and popularity in the 1970s and 80s. Her body of work at that time includes live performance, television, sound recording, and film. Prominent in all of these, her public persona was shaped mostly in the latter three arenas,...

The Cinematic Shrews of Teen Comedy: Gendering Shakespeare in Twentieth-Century Film

March 1, 2009

[1] The discourse of feminism since at least the last two decades of the twentieth century has had to combat repeatedly questions of “conformity” and “happiness”: if feminism must work against patriarchy, must women reject, in full, every aspect of traditional femininity and domesticity, even heterosexual intimacy? if the feminist...

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