Arguing that limit transgression is a key feature for understanding the cinematic
performance of, and the controversy around, sexuality in the public sphere, this
contribution focuses on various aspects of limit transgression in relation to
sex cinemas. Following a new cinema history approach and concentrating on the
case of an emerging sex cinema in postwar Belgium (Cinema
Leopold in Ghent, 1945–54), this article looks at various
dimensions of limit transgression in terms of concrete physical and spatial
relations; programming strategies; audience experiences; and a range of
disciplining societal practices and institutional discourses.
Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany‘s and Hollywood
This essay examines some of the literary and biographical models Truman Capote drew
on in the creation of Holly Golightly, the heroine of his 1958 novella Breakfast at
Tiffany‘s. Making use of Paramount studio records, the essay also explores the
complex process of adapting the story to the big screen. Numerous changes were made
so as to transform Capotes story into a romantic comedy, and thus to contain Holly‘s
liberated sexuality while also erasing any doubts about the male protagonists
heterosexuality. Casting Hepburn as the female lead helped to neutralize Holly‘s
sexual transgressiveness, and it sexualized the stars ethereal persona.
Giovanna Maina, Federico Zecca, Danielle Hipkins, and Catherine O’Rawe
This article offers a reconstruction of the birth of Asia Argento’s star image, with specific reference to the Italian context. Through an analysis of the media discourses that circulated around the actress in the early phase of her career (from the end of the 1980s to the 2000s), we can trace the evolution of her star image from enfant prodige of Italian cinema, and youth icon, to that of the ‘anti-star’ who strongly divides public opinion, owing to her unruliness on and off-screen. The article concludes that her pre-existing association with sexual transgression inflected how her behaviour with Harvey Weinstein and Jimmy Bennett was interpreted in the Italian public sphere.
James Baldwin, the Religious Right, and the Moral
In the 1980s, James Baldwin recognized that a major transformation had occurred in the
socio-political functions of religion. His critique adapted accordingly, focusing on the
ways in which religion—particularly white evangelical Christianity—had morphed into a
movement deeply enmeshed with mass media, conservativepolitics, and late capitalism.
Religion in the Reagan era was leveraged, sold, and consumed in ways never before seen,
from charismatic televangelists, to Christian-themed amusement parks, to mega-churches.
The new movement was often characterized as the “religious right” or the “Moral Majority”
and was central to both Reagan’s political coalition as well as the broader culture wars.
For Baldwin, this development had wide-ranging ramifications for society and the
individual. This article draws on Baldwin’s final major essay, “To Crush the Serpent”
(1987), to examine the author’s evolving thoughts on religion, salvation, and
transgression in the context of the Reagan era.
This article theorizes the transgressive faculties of cyberspace‘s Gothic labyrinth, arguing that it is haunted by the ghost of material/information dualism. This ghost is embodied in cybergoth subculture: while cybergothic music creates a gateway to the borderland between biological and virtual realities, dancing enables cybergoths to transgress the boundaries between the two.
of selfhood and right to participate in this world. Moreover, violence is absolutely integral to the markings of subjectivity, setting apart claims about identity, along with notions of civility and barbarism. Violence is always mediated through expressed dichotomies between acceptable and unacceptable behaviours, between the right to punish and the intolerable transgression, between the force of normative law and the terror of the minority. In fact, there is an entire political ecology at work in the very diagnosis of something as political violence in itself
( 2016 ), The Seductions of Quantification: Measuring
Human Rights, Gender Violence, and Sex Trafficking ’
( Chicago : The University of
Chicago Press ).
( 2015 ), ‘ Interventionism as Practice: On
“Ordinary Transgressions” and Their
Routinization ’, Journal of Intervention and
to resist or change social
or political wrong through either ‘contained or transgressive
tactics, excluding political violence’ (Global Activism, Ruth Reitan,
Re-assertion of state sovereignty was also linked to the fact that pre-1989
MSF often worked on the margins of conflicts/refugees, as opposed to
directly inside, thus bringing our public critiques and
stranger as an unknown but nonetheless identifiable (read: racialised) figure who
posits danger and transgression in his very being (see also Fanon, 1975 ). This figuration can be readily transposed to
the colonial and patriarchal bases of the aid sector, structured by hierarchical and
highly sexualised notions of both race and gender. Under this logic, colonised and
non-white men have long been positioned as libidinous and violent, threats to the
safety and honour of white women, while
The lesbian community of colour in America has been largely overlooked amidst the current popular culture mania for all things vampiric. Yet the complex ambiguity of the lesbian vampire very readily lends itself to women of colour, who frequently explore in their gothic fiction the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, assimilation, and the transgressive significance of the vampire myth. This essay discusses two works by African-American Jewelle Gomez and Chicana- American Terri de la Pena as lesbian Gothic romantic fiction, as feminist affirmation, and as prescriptive, community-building activist discourse.