Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Subtext matters: The queered curriculum behind the Warrior Princess and the Bard
by Foerst, Angelika, Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2008, 200; 3305129
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to gather the narratives of Xena: Warrior Princess fans both on- and off-line, and to analyze the metaphors that emerged through their discourse. The research questions used to guide this dissertation were: How did the use of gay and lesbian subtext in the television program Xena: Warrior Princess aid fans in viewing a non-normalized depiction of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer, and intersexed (LGBTQI) communities? How, and in what ways, was this community of discourse received? How did the public political pedagogy influence the social construction of the show? In what ways was a community of discourse recognized? Furthermore, where was there evidence of a formation of solidarity and personal empowerment among fans as a result of Xena: Warrior Princess having been aired? The notions of gender identity, desire, performativity, sexuality, pleasure, power, knowledge, the pedagogy of oppression, and social constructivism were applied to frame this study. A bricolage of narrative, metaphor, discourse analysis, and grounded theory formed the methodology of this inquiry which helped to interpret the stories of these fans. Within these narratives, three metaphors emerged in regard to how these fans viewed the subtext which discussed the relationship between the two heroines: Xena, Warrior Princess, and Gabrielle, Bard of Poteidaia. These metaphors were: (a) as a "marriage," (b) as "performing lesbian," and (c) as "beyond sex." The major theme highlighted in the stories of these fans is a latent conservatism that continues to subjugate them to the hegemony of heteronormativity; thereby, consigning them once again to the shadows.

Indexing (document details)
School: Arizona State University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 69/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Mass communications, Curriculum development, Gender studies, LGBTQ studies
Keywords: Lesbian, Lesbian identity, Lesbian sexuality, Queer theory, Queered curriculum, Subtext, Television, Xena: Warrior Princess
Publication Number: 3305129
ISBN: 978-0-549-51726-9
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