Login | Register

Eccentricity, Spectatorial Desire, and The L Word: Toward a Theory of Identification

Title:

Eccentricity, Spectatorial Desire, and The L Word: Toward a Theory of Identification

Symes, Katerina (2013) Eccentricity, Spectatorial Desire, and The L Word: Toward a Theory of Identification. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

[img]
Preview
Text (application/pdf)
Symes_MA_F2013.pdf - Accepted Version
382kB

Abstract

This thesis introduces the concept of “eccentric spectatorship” in order to explore the ways in which Showtime’s The L Word – a fictional program about lesbian women – may address heterosexual spectators, and how the specificity of one’s spectatorial position can exceed this address at the level of identification and desire. Using Teresa de Lauretis’ formative theory of the “eccentric subject,” this thesis will discuss how the effects of one’s excessive spectatorial position may extend beyond the immediate viewing process; the occupation of an excessive spectatorial position is a transformative subjective experience, altering the ways in which spectators make sense of themselves and interact with their social and material reality. To make this argument, this thesis will include a brief case study of The L Word in order to explore how the camera work, narrative, and visual images offer heterosexual spectators specific positionalities of identification and desire. This thesis will conclude that an eccentric viewing position not only accounts for spectators’ multiple interpretative possibilities, but also acknowledges differences between (and even within) spectators; representations engage viewers differently based on the social, cultural, and subjective (conscious and unconscious) positions within which they are situated. As a result, spectatorial identifications are revealed to be as equally unstable as identity itself.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Media Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Symes, Katerina
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Media Studies
Date:May 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lynes, Krista
Keywords:Spectatorship; Identification; Eccentricity; Television; The L Word
ID Code:977356
Deposited By: KATERINA SYMES
Deposited On:25 Nov 2013 17:09
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:44

References:

Aaron, Michele. “New Queer Cable?: The L Word, the Small Screen and the Bigger Picture.” Reading The L Word: Outing Contemporary Television. Ed. Kim Akass and Janet McCabe. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2006. 33-39.

Ahmed, Sara. “Affective Economies.” Social Text 79 22.2 (2004): 117-139. 18 Jan. 2013.

---. The Cultural Politics of Emotion. New York: Routledge, 2004.

Beirne, Rebecca. "Fashioning The L Word.” Nebula 3.4 (December 2006): 1-37. 14 Oct. 2012.

Chung, Sheng Kuan. "Media Literacy Art Education: Deconstructing Lesbian and Gay Stereotypes in the Media." International Journal of Art and Design Education 26.1 (2007): 98-107. 14 Oct. 2012.

Crites, Kristin A. “The L Word.” Journal of GLBT Family Studies 2.1 (2006): 123-125. 21 Feb. 2012.

De Lauretis, Teresa. Alice Doesn’t: Feminism, Semiotics, Cinema. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984.

---. Technologies of Gender: Essays on Theory, Film, and Fiction. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1987.

---. The Practice of Love: Lesbian Sexuality and Perverse Desire. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994.

---. Figures of Resistance: Essays in Feminist Theory. Ed. Patricia White. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2007.

Farr, Daniel, and Nathalie Degroult. “Understand the Queer World of the L-esbian Body: Using Queer as Folk and The L Word to Address the Construction of the Lesbian Body.” Journal of Lesbian Studies 12.4 (2008): 423-434. 21 Feb. 2012.

Ghosh, Bishnupriya. Global Icons: Apertures to the Popular. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2011.

Gorton, Kristyn. Media Audiences: Television, Meaning, and Emotion. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009.

Graham, Paula. “The L Word Under-Whelms the UK?” Reading The L Word: Outing Contemporary Television. Ed. Kim Akass and Janet McCabe. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2006. 15-26.

Gray, Jonathan. Television Entertainment. New York and London: Routledge, 2008.

Heller, Dana. “How Does a Lesbian Look?: Stendhal’s Syndrome and The L Word.” Reading The L Word: Outing Contemporary Television. Ed. Kim Akass and Janet McCabe. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2006. 55-68.

Laplanche, Jean, and J.B. Pontalis. The Language of Psycho-Analysis. Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith. New York and London: W.W. Norton and Company, 1973.

Manuel, Sheri L. “Becoming the Homovoyeur: Consuming Homosexual Representations in Queer as Folk.” Social Science 19.3 (September 2009): 275-291.

Mayne, Judith. Cinema and Spectatorship. London: Routledge, 1993.

Metz, Christian. The Imaginary Signifier: Psychoanalysis and the Cinema. Trans. Celia Britton, et al. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1977.

Minh-ha, Trinh T. “Not You/Like You: Post-Colonial Women and the Interlocking Questions of Identity and Difference.” Readings in Feminist Rhetorical Theory. Ed. Karen A. Foss, Sonja K. Foss, and Cindy L. Griffin. Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2004. 215-219.

Moore, Candace. “Having It All Ways: The Tourist, the Traveler, and the Local in The L Word.” Cinema Journal 46.4 (Summer 2007): 3-23. 23 Jun. 2012.

---. “Getting Wet: The Heteroflexibility of Showtime’s The L Word.” Third Wave Feminism and Television: Jane Puts It in a Box. Ed. Merri Lisa Johnson. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2007. 119-147.

Reddy, William M. “Against Constructionism: The Historical Ethnography of Emotions.” Current Anthropology 38.3 (1997): 327-251.

Rich, Adrienne. “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Experience.” Signs 5.4 (1980): 631-660. 28 Jan. 2013.

Stacey, Jackie. Star Gazing: Hollywood Cinema and Female Spectatorship. London and New York: Routledge, 1994.

The L Word. Showtime. 18 January. 2004.

Warn, Sarah. “Introduction.” Reading The L Word: Outing Contemporary Television. Ed. Kim Akass and Janet McCabe. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2006. 1-8.

White, Patricia. unInvited: Classical Hollywood Cinema and Lesbian Representability. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1999.
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Back to top Back to top