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Intimate places and flights of fancy : gender, space, and movement in contemporary costume drama

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Intimate places and flights of fancy : gender, space, and movement in contemporary costume drama

Pidduck, Julianne (1997) Intimate places and flights of fancy : gender, space, and movement in contemporary costume drama. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

If social theory and common wisdom might posit a gendered binary between the feminine principle of stasis and a masculine principle of dynamism, contemporary costume drama presents a delightfully complex and nuanced feminist philosophical dilemma. In this dissertation, I explore the tension within this genre between the intimacy of perfect interiors and precise, nuanced dialogue--and its offer of a fanciful escape into romantic and exotic costumes, landscapes, situations. My fascination with the gendered implications of these comfortable and confined interiors ("intimate places"), contrasted with dynamic journeys into the past ("flights of fancy") frames this cycle of film and televisual texts through the problematic of space and movement. A popular and formally interesting case study, costume drama charts nineteenth-century historical spaces embedded with gender, class, and colonial relations of power. As such, this corpus offers a rich site to work through these complex interrelated axes of power through the audio-visual blocking of space and movement. In advancing this approach as an alternative to the psychoanalytic framework dominant within feminist film theory, I develop an original "topographical" approach to the analysis of audio-visual texts. Figured through a close reading of textual space and movement, this dissertation advances a detailed critical reading of this significant cultural phenomenon--and proposes innovative epistemological and methodological avenues for the study of audio-visual texts.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Pidduck, Julianne
Pagination:x, 280 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Communication Studies
Date:1997
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sawchuk, Kimberly A
ID Code:434
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:11
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:14
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