latter also shows a certain
progression towards the deconstruction of gendered identities in India
Song and, even more prominently, in Agatha.
The preoccupation in Duras with questions of genderandsexuality may be usefully theorised by drawing on ideas central to feminist
psychoanalysis. Although both feminism and psychoanalysis have lost the
central position they occupied among the various approaches to film studies
In this chapter we focus on the
ways film and television comedy have presented genderandsexuality.
These subjects cross over in more ways than one.
Gender is an issue of difference and difference has
continually proved difficult for human cultures to negotiate.
Patriarchal culture, that is, society which is structured in order to
give the male sex many advantages over the
of a certain
historical context which, despite the vastly different reality of
contemporary Spain, has left its mark on Spanish cultural production and
reception and ensures a continuing association between the sexual and
Francoism, let us recall, operated on the basis of highly
traditional and retrograde concepts of genderandsexuality. This led to
Demy began his filmmaking career when, as Geneviève Sellier
recalls, surveys into the attitudes of young people in France revealed
significant distinctions between the aspirations of men and women
(2005: 6). In 1958, journalist Françoise Giroud, credited with having
coined the term ‘nouvelle vague’, published a book, La Nouvelle Vague,
portraits de la jeunesse’, based on a sample of 15,000 letters sent to
L’Express magazine and concluded that young women felt determined
by their ‘condition’ as woman (Giroud, 201 in Sellier
In David Foster Wallace’s fiction, long-standing philosophical debates – does language describe the world accurately? can I explain myself to others? what are the values and dangers of self-consciousness? how can I lead a meaningful life? – play a central role. In fact the need to explore these debates as representing urgent problems of contemporary human existence is what motivated Wallace’s ‘occupational switch’ from philosophy to literature. This volume presents new essays by prominent and promising Wallace scholars that show that Wallace’s work originates in-between philosophy and literature. Its philosophical dimension is not a mere supplement or decoration, a finishing touch to perfect his literary writing; nor is it the other way around: a pre-established truth the literary serves to illustrate. Rather in Wallace the two discursive modes are always already intertwined in a never-ending process of cross-fertilization. This approach constitutes an investigative perspective that allows for a variety of theories and methods to shed light on the constitutive in-betweenness of Wallace’s oeuvre – instead of imposing a preconceived methodology or a theoretical context that univocally homogenizes each single reading. The essays included offer a plurality of interpretations of Wallace’s engagement with philosophy and literature. Organized in three parts – ‘General perspectives’, ‘Consciousness, self, and others’, and ‘Embodiment, gender, and sexuality’ – this volume breaks new ground: it shows that Wallace’s texts, characters, story-worlds, linguistic and formal choices, plots and concepts are all to be read ‘between’ philosophy and literature, and thus provides a highly valuable contribution to the field of Wallace studies.
This review article charts the general direction of scholarship in James Baldwin
studies between the years 2016 and 2017, reflecting on important scholarly
events and publications of the period and identifying notable trends in
criticism. Surveying the field as a whole, the most notable features are the
“political turn” that seeks to connect Baldwin’s social
insights from the past to the present, and the ongoing access to and interest in
the Baldwin archive. In addition to these larger trends, there is continued
interest in situating Baldwin in national, regional, and geographical contexts
as well as interest with how he grapples with and illuminates issues of gender
Fetish Filmmaking and the Revision of Masculinity in Scorpio Rising and Drive
This article examines how the ironic construction of queer masculinity from biker culture, a realm of consumer fetishism and hetero-masculinity, in Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising (1964), influences Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 film Drive. As Anger’s film appropriates pop-culture images and icons of biker culture, fetishes of post-Second World War American masculinity, Refn uses overt references to Anger’s film to wage a similar reappropriation of muscle car culture, in the process challenging contemporary images of heterosexual masculinity in Drive. Like Anger, Refn relies upon the dynamics of fetishism and postmodernism’s illumination of the distance between sign and object to subvert muscle cars’ associations with masculine violence and rivalry, mobilising them instead to exploit the inherent multivocality of the fetishised object, seizing the car (and its mobility) as a getaway vehicle to escape prescriptions of identity and limiting definitions of gender and sexuality.
Searching for Black Queer Domesticity at Chez Baldwin
Magdalena J. Zaborowska
This essay argues for the importance of James Baldwin’s last house, located in St. Paul-de-Vence in the south of France, to his late works written during the productive period of 1971–87: No Name in the Street (1972), If Beale Street Could Talk (1974), The Devil Finds Work (1976), Just Above My Head (1979), The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1985), and the unpublished play The Welcome Table (1987). That period ushered in a new Baldwin, more complex and mature as an author, who became disillusioned while growing older as a black queer American who had no choice but to live abroad to get his work done and to feel safe. Having established his most enduring household at “Chez Baldwin,” as the property was known locally, the writer engaged in literary genre experimentation and challenged normative binaries of race, gender, and sexuality with his conceptions of spatially contingent national identity. The late Baldwin created unprecedented models of black queer domesticity and humanism that, having been excluded from U.S. cultural narratives until recently, offer novel ways to reconceptualize what it means to be an American intellectual in the twenty-first-century world.
A Session at the 2019 American Studies Association Conference
Magdalena J. Zaborowska
Nicholas F. Radel
Ernest L. Gibson III
“Rebranding James Baldwin and His Queer Others” was a session held
at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association in November 2019 in
Honolulu, Hawaii. The papers gathered here show how Baldwin’s writings
and life story participate in dialogues with other authors and artists who probe
issues of identity and identification, as well as with other types of texts and
non-American stories, boldly addressing theoretical and political perspectives
different from his own. Nick Radel’s temporal challenge to reading novels
on homoerotic male desire asks of us a leap of faith, one that makes it possible
to read race as not necessarily a synonym for “Black,” but as a
powerful historical and sexual trope that resists “over-easy”
binaries of Western masculinity. Ernest L. Gibson’s engagement with
Beauford Delaney’s brilliant art and the ways in which it enabled the
teenage Baldwin’s “dark rapture” of self-discovery as a
writer reminds us that “something [has been missing] in our discussions
of male relationships.” Finally, Nigel Hatton suggests “a
relationship among Baldwin, Denmark, and Giovanni’s Room
that adds another thread to the important scholarship on his groundbreaking work
of fiction that has impacted African-American literature, Cold War studies,
transnational American studies, feminist thought, and queer theory.” All
three essays enlarge our assessment of Baldwin’s contribution to
understanding the ways gender and sexuality always inflect racialized Western
masculinities. Thus, they help us work to better gauge the extent of
Baldwin’s influence right here and right now.
Unspeakability in Vernon Lee‘s Supernatural Stories
Vernon Lees supernatural fiction provides an interesting test case for speculations about the function of spectrality for women writers on the cusp of the modern era. This article argues that spectrality, in line with Julian Wolfreys’ theories about the ‘hauntological disturbance’ in Victorian Gothic (2002), is both disruptive and desirable, informing the narratives we construct of modernity. It traces the links between the ‘unspeakable’ spectral encounter and contemporary attitudes to gender and sexuality in stories in Vernon Lees collection Hauntings (1890), as well as her Yellow Book story ‘Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady’ (1897). The ghostly encounter is erotic and welcomed as well as fearful, used to comment on the shortcomings of heterosexual marriage and bourgeois life, though this often results in the troubling spectacle of the ravished, mutilated or bloody female corpse. Lees negotiation of unspeakability and the desire for the ghostly is compared to the more graphic depictions of the dead female in stories from E. Nesbits Grim Tales (1893). Representations of the female revenant are considered in relation to the psychoanalytic readings of the otherness of the female corpse put forward by Elisabeth Bronfen (1992).