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


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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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
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sawchuk, Kim
Identification Number:NX 650 I74D56 2004
ID Code:8124
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 18:16
Last Modified:13 Jul 2020 20:03
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