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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Playing with Your Parts: Dismantling Bodily "Wholeness" through Queer and Crip Performance
by Miranda, Krista K., Ph.D., New York University, 2015, 263; 3716576
Abstract (Summary)

Playing with Your Parts: Dismantling Bodily "Wholeness" through Queer and Crip Performance examines performances of embodiment that remap the body, its meanings, its taxonomies and its possibilities to flesh out what is at stake when the body is revealed to be (always) partial and variable. Through an examination of the work of several U.S. and internationally-based performing artists, this project is an investigation into individual and cultural understandings of subject formation: the ways we conceptualize our bodily selves and how neoliberal notions of autonomy and "wholeness" are proliferated through academic, scientific, legal, medical, and popular discourses. Exposing the network of forces that support normative fantasies of bodily "wholeness"--including constructions of sex, gender, sexuality, able-bodiedness, and race--this project questions what effects such taxonomies have on the world when certain bodily expressions, desires, and transformations are deemed "abnormal" or pathological. Situated within and between the fields of performance, feminist, queer, and critical disability studies, as well as psychoanalysis, this interdisciplinary project encompasses performance art, experimental dance, film, pornography, individuals who aspire to be amputees, or "wannabes," and disability law--to attend to the anxieties, often vehemently expressed, which circulate around performances that expose bodily "wholeness" to be a normalizing fantasy. How can performances that undermine "wholeness" reformulate theories of bodily life? Where does body modification end and mutilation begin? What is productive about engaging in these practices? This interdisciplinary investigation will identify what norms we take for granted regarding concepts of sex, gender, sexuality, race, and able-bodiedness and how they are mutually implicated. This project brings attention to the subtle and pernicious ways pathologizing agendas continue to circulate by asking, what bodily norms--like able-bodiedness and homonormativity--are we unwittingly promoting in the service of social justice for marginalized individuals? If we do not attend to these questions we will not only fail to acknowledge the insipient nature of these normative fantasies, like bodily "wholeness," but we will also continue to perpetuate notions about embodiment that undermine the prosperity of queer and disabled life.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pellegrini, Ann
Commitee: Browning, Barbara, Lepecki, Andre, Pellegrini, Ann
School: New York University
Department: Performance Studies
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Theater, LGBTQ studies, Performing Arts, Gender studies
Keywords: Disability studies, Embodiment, Gender studies, Performance art, Performance studies, Sexuality studies
Publication Number: 3716576
ISBN: 978-1-321-95468-5
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