On the Narration of Ambiguously Sexed Characters Endowed with Magical Qualities
01 / 2007 - onbekend
Through an interdisciplinary theoretical lens of psychoanalytic and post-structuralist feminist theory, I evaluate the ways in which authors and filmmakers narrate sexually ambiguous characters as performing magical acts. The corpus of my research focuses on pairings of literature and film, and sexually ambiguous characters who are politically and ethically transformed through the process of adaptation. Among the pairings of film and literature I examine are: 1) The Satyricons of Petronius and Fellini, and sexually ambiguous prophetesses who foresee the future; 2) The Orlandos of Virginia Woolf and Sally Potter, which focus on sexually ambiguous time-travelers; 3) The vampires of Sheridan LaFanu (Carmilla) and films such as Dracula, Van Helsing and The Hunger, which centralize sexually amorphous shape-shifters, and; 4) Michel Foucault s Herculine Barbin and a series of Peter Pan spin-offs (J.M. Barrie, Clyde Geronimi, Steven Spielberg, Disneyland) that deploy hypersexualized subjects on the verge of disappearing from the normative order. Through investigating the narrative and theoretical relation between acts of magic and the effects produced by ambiguously sexed characters, I hope to formulate an account for the ways in which tropes of ambiguity and incompletion provide a space for the reading subject to negotiate their own position within a terrain of linguistic and sexual transgression.