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Bodies of irony : irony, the unruly body, feminist performance

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Bodies of irony : irony, the unruly body, feminist performance

Diner, Robyn (2004) Bodies of irony : irony, the unruly body, feminist performance. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Bodies of Irony begins at the crossroads where theories of irony, configurations of the unruly female body and particular performance pieces meet, greet and get off on one another. As I re-present spectacular scenes featuring Karen Finley, Courtney Love, Princess Superstar, Spiderwoman, Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gómez-Peña among others, I show how irony can give familiar feminist and/or postcolonial sentiments a fresh, funky edge; how it may highlight hypocritical states of affairs and how it enables one to adopt a sensibility that juggles the seemingly irreconcilable. Irony also becomes embodied. I demonstrate how a variety of figures associated with the unruly female grotesque--the madwoman, the slut, the hysteric and the noble savage--are re-done with irony as they rage, smirk and laugh their way across specific stages, spaces and streets. In turn, conversations emerge around: postmodernism feminism, political activity and claims to identity; postcolonial inquiry into concepts like hybridity, authenticity, memory and Otherness as exotic spectacle; critiques of the good girl/bad girl binary and the norms that ground and surround appropriate femininity. As I elaborate on responses to the performances re-staged throughout this project, the risks and dangers linked to irony and the unruly body are fleshed out. Many of the performers that I focus on have been trivialized, dismissed, detested, arrested and/or recuperated. Often their words and deeds seem to perpetuate what they seek to critique. However, although I suggest that ironic and unruly endeavors can backfire, I also stress that such serious play can prove pleasurably, provocatively and politically promising.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Diner, Robyn
Pagination:ix, 217 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Communication Studies
Date:2004
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sawchuk, Kim
ID Code:8124
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:16
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 15:46
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