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"Skin is anything but skin deep" : contemporary transsexual and transgendered body narratives

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"Skin is anything but skin deep" : contemporary transsexual and transgendered body narratives

Tunzi, Veronica A (2005) "Skin is anything but skin deep" : contemporary transsexual and transgendered body narratives. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

An investigation of late twentieth-century transsexual and transgendered narratives, this thesis considers the role of embodiment in the development of trans identities. Because transsexuals and transgendered people do not adhere to the hegemonic sex/gender binary, they allow a critical view of subjectivity as they challenge essentializing accounts of identity, insisting instead that the self can continually change and unfold throughout one's lifespan. A comparison is made between written, autobiographical accounts of transsexual and transgendered subjectivities and photographic ones, in an attempt to understand how different media articulate trans struggles with the body. Through an analysis of Kate Bornstein's Gender Outlaw and Leslie Feinberg's Stone Butch Blues , two autobiographical texts, the first chapter examines the relationship between embodiment, gender identity and sexual desire. In exploring a textual mode of self-representation, the chapter attempts to understand how language impedes an articulation of trans bodies and sexual desires but also offers the potential for these emerging identities to be named. In the second chapter, two photographic works are analyzed--Loren Cameron's Body Alchemy: Transsexual Portraits and Del LaGrace Volcano's Sublime Mutations . These texts are used to consider how photography differs from writing in its presentation of trans embodiment, specifically because photography is credited with revealing the "real" and is capable of showing bodies that cannot be named. The potential for bodies to be transformed via sex-reassignment surgery and other types of body modifications is also discussed in relation to the forging of trans identities.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Tunzi, Veronica A
Pagination:vii, 138 leaves : ill., ports. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:English
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):Freiwald, Bina Toledo
ID Code:8288
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:21
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 15:38
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