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COM 327 January 22 2013 Quiz Housekeeping Group Presentation: - “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” Short lecture: Doty & Queer theory Queer readings of pop culture . Quiz!. Question 1 Mulvey describes her analysis as a “political use of” which intellectual tradition? a) Marxism

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Presentation Transcript
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COM 327

January 22 2013

Quiz

Housekeeping

Group Presentation:

- “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”

Short lecture: Doty & Queer theory

Queer readings of pop culture

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Question 1
  • Mulveydescribes her analysis as a “political use of” which intellectual tradition?
  • a) Marxism
  • b) Psychoanalysis
  • c) Anger
  • d) Cinema
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Question 2

Mulvey looks at the following gender formulation in cinema:

a) women as passive / men as active

b) women as human / men as cyborgs

c) women as crazy / men as rational

d) women as men / me as women

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Question 3

What movie does Doty use as an example of how we’ve been culturally trained to assume that all non-stereotypically queer characters are straight?

a) The Princess Bride

b) Psycho

c) American Beauty

d) The Blair Witch Project

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Question 4

What is the term Doty uses to describe academics who combine rigorous critical work with autobiographical, celebratory enthusiasm for the subject?

a) Scholar-fans

b) Academic wannabes

c) Invested critics

d) Subjectivists

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Housekeeping
  • Group presentations
    • January 29 volunteers?
  • 2. Email Emily and/or I for any questions about course material & assignments, including assignment feedback & grading
  • - Emily is also available for 45 minutes after each class!
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Doty & queer theory
  • What is queer theory?
  • Implications of Doty’s approach
  • Queer readings & “encoding / decoding”
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Queer theory
  • Roots in gender & feminist theory
  • ‘Male’ & ‘female’ (sex) is not the same as ‘masculine’ & ‘feminine’ (gender)
  • Maleness and femaleness are oppositional concepts
  • Maleness and femaleness are constructed (for us) & performed (by us)
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Hegemony & PATRIARCHY

The configuration of politics, law, economics, technology and culture around the belief that men and women are fundamentally different…

This configuration generally favors (straight, white) men.

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“Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is”

“In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is.”

“You automatically gain entry to some parts of the map that others have to work for. The game is easier to play, automatically, and when you need help, by default it’s easier to get.”

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

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Hegemony & HETERONORMATIVITY
  • The configuration of politics, law, economics, medicine, technology and culture around the belief that heterosexuality is normal & natural...
  • ...and that everything else is deviant / immoral / unnatural
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“Homosexual” and “queer” are not the same thing

Just like “female” and “feminine”, or “male” and “masculine” are not the same thing!

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Doty:Queerness is “any nonnormative expression of gender, including those connected with straightness” (p. 18)
  • Queerness is a performance that disrupts conventional ideas of “normative” identity
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Doty & “encoding/decoding”:
  • there can be multiple readings of a ‘text’ (tv show, movie, video game, etc) – texts are “polysemic”
  • even the most heteronormative texts can be analyzed from a queer perspective
  • because texts are polysemic, my reading does not spoil the pleasure you get from the text
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Implications of Doty’s analysis:
  • Queer characters do not always mean queer positive
  • Queer readings are possible even when (especially when?) no characters are explicitly queer
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Vocabulary for “queer” readings

Homoeroticism

- Men take sensual pleasure from watching / being with other men… but how to make this OK for straight guys?

Camp

- over-the-top portrayal of sexual identity (often to the point of irony)

Essentialism

- Characterizing a group of people using limited stereotypes

Heterocentrism

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What makes homoeroticism “safe?”
  • A gay(er) villain

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmgRv2V_7P4

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Queer readings are possible with almost any text, whether or not they have explicit queer characters/themes

A queer reading does not necessarily reflect on your own identity

(e.g. just like Marxist analyses don’t make you a socialist)

Reading a text as queer simply means not assuming that every non-stereotypically gay person is straight.

In other words, it means asking “what if” instead of “obviously they’re not”.

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Form into groups of 5
  • Choose from one of the following:
  • Hunger Games
  • Harry Potter
  • Twilight
  • Anything you want!
  • Do a queer reading.
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