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Festivals, Uncut: Queer/ing Festival Studies, Curating Queerness

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Festivals, Uncut: Queer/ing Festival Studies, Curating Queerness

Damiens, Antoine (2017) Festivals, Uncut: Queer/ing Festival Studies, Curating Queerness. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

In the past decade, scholars have increasingly paid attention to film festivals. While the constitution of festival studies as a semi-independent field seems to further legitimise festivals as a site of scholarly inquiry, film critics have long questioned the continued relevance of LGBT film festivals. In 1982, for instance, Thomas Waugh wondered why (and whether) a new film festival should be organised in Montreal. Similarly, B. Ruby Rich notes that, given the commercial success of independent queer cinema in the mid-1990s, LGBT festivals are simultaneously “outlasting their mandate and invited to cease and desist.”

In focusing on LGBT festivals’ conflicted temporalities and historiography, this dissertation explores the intersection of queer cinematic cultures, academic knowledge production, and film criticism: since their humble beginnings in 1970s adult theatres, universities, and community centres, LGBT festivals have been instrumental in shaping both gay and lesbian film studies and queer cultural memory. In that context, this dissertation centres on the tension between queering festival studies (what I call “critical festival studies”) – uncovering the disciplinary unconscious and political project of the field through a careful examination of festivals which have been ignored in traditional historical narratives – and the constitution of queer cultural memory through festivals’ curatorial practices (“the festival as a method”).

As such, this project is highly indebted to queer/feminist historiographies and epistemologies. In queering festival studies, it hopes to foreground our own attachment to objects of studies (academic research is, as festival organisers put it, a “labour of love”), to do justice to the ways queer people access history, and to open up a space for a critical re-examining of queer film scholarship.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Damiens, Antoine
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Film and Moving Image Studies
Date:24 November 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Waugh, Thomas
Keywords:film festivals; queer; LGBT
ID Code:983276
Deposited By: ANTOINE DAMIENS
Deposited On:05 Jun 2018 15:06
Last Modified:06 Jun 2018 12:52
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