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Kinship as a Strategy for Living: Screening the Queer “Family”

Title:

Kinship as a Strategy for Living: Screening the Queer “Family”

Stepic, Nikola (2015) Kinship as a Strategy for Living: Screening the Queer “Family”. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The evolving representations of queer people in moving images have taken the form of a homecoming, especially in light of recent law changes that pertain to same-sex marriage in the United States, and the media’s concurrent readiness to recast sexual minorities in the roles of husbands, wives, fathers, mothers and children. The queers’ cinematic and televisual journey from periphery to center has effectively become a journey back to the privileges and comforts of familial life, and a domesticity that remains at the core of American culture.
In light of this transition, this thesis seeks to explore the presence of kinship in queer urban communities in the period from the 1970s to the 1990s. While the queer cultural output of this period seeks to establish the queer identity independent of, or in opposition to, heteronormativity, the idea of family is absorbed and transformed as part of a larger community-building process. In the queer milieu, family is appropriated, emulated and enacted as much as it is escaped, negotiated and subverted. In order to demonstrate the diversity of the queer “family,” this study engages with three major filmic case studies –The Boys in the Band (dir. William Friedkin, 1970), Parting Glances (dir. Bill Sherwood, 1986) and Paris Is Burning (dir. Jennie Livingston, 1990). These films are analyzed for their capacity to give shape to queer kinship as conceptualized in queer theory, film theory, queer history and criticism, psychoanalysis, and dramatic theories. Through these filmic case studies, the queer “family” is located and investigated in three distinct contexts – that of American family drama, the AIDS epidemic and performance documentary.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Stepic, Nikola
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Film Studies
Date:15 July 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Thomas, Waugh
Keywords:queer kinship, queer families, queer film, the boys in the band, parting glances, paris is burning, AIDS, transference, parrhesia
ID Code:980469
Deposited By: NIKOLA STEPIC
Deposited On:28 Oct 2015 12:49
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:51

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