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Kissing the Ugly Parts: Violent Productions of Queer Otherness & the Embrace of Unintelligibility

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Item Summary

Title: Kissing the Ugly Parts: Violent Productions of Queer Otherness & the Embrace of Unintelligibility
Authors: Gleisberg, Anna
Keywords: queer
Issue Date: Aug 2015
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2015]
Abstract: This project considers how violent productions of queer otherness gesture toward the viability of
unintelligibility. Chapter 1 examines how queer otherness and unintelligibility emerge as a response to the medicalization and pathologization of the body. As restrictive categorizations limit gender variance, cultural productions like R. Zamora Linmark’s novel Rolling the R’s and Loren “Rex” Cameron’s “Distortions” self-portraits contest the normative alignment of a sexed body, thwart a “born in the wrong body” narrative, and queer what it means to be embodied. By analyzing the films Soldier’s Girl (2003) and Brokeback Mountain (2005), Chapter 2 examines how the military and marriage function as state-sanctioned intuitions that violently police unruly bodies and nonnormative desires. Although the violence of heteronormativity sustains the production of heterosexual citizenship and quarantines volatile forms of queer otherness, these films point toward how unintelligible desires create fissures within the heteronormative matrix as they reformulate the possible ways that bodies can interact, collide, and share intimacy. By examining the film Fight Club (1999) and the character Jenny Schecter from the television series
The L Word (2004-2009), Chapter 3 addresses how queer negativity can mobilize unintelligibility as a volitional practice. These representations direct the audience toward embracing the violence of sensation and, by doing so, produce a disidentificatory spectatorship that remains oppositional toward hetero-/homonormative social value and “appropriate” affective responses to selfdestruction and trauma. Extending this discussion, Chapter 4 argues for a queer spectatorial framework that is not reliant on the legibility of desire and intimacy. New Queer Cinema (NQC) films, like Pansexual Public Porn (1997), redefine how desire and intimacy can function between an audience and nonnormative bodies and desires. The final chapter draws upon Keir McCoy’s 2002 self-portrait “Shatter” to illustrate how queer otherness offers a glimpse at the political agency unintelligibility might forge. As a provisional position and as a practice that cuts into the subjective experience and across the discursive field, unintelligibility guides us to “kiss the ugly parts” that cannot be discursively contained; also, it ruptures, dismantles, and subverts hetero-/homonormative processes of recognition that often determine the viability of an individual’s life.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2015.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - English

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