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Durham e-Theses
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Queer Genders: Problematising Gender through Contemporary Photography

CARBERY, REBECCA,HELENA,HANNAH (2011) Queer Genders: Problematising Gender through Contemporary Photography. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis explores ways in which non-normative representations of gender in contemporary photography (with a focus on amateur work displayed on the photo-sharing website Flickr) raise the issue of what gender is and whether an original exists. Using Judith Butler‟s seminal ideas in Gender Trouble of gender as performatively constituted as a theoretical background, each chapter goes on to deal with a particular strategy and style of image that work towards subverting binary gender norms.
I begin with a discussion of new media technologies, in particular photo-sharing websites. I apply Donna Haraway‟s cyborg metaphor to the interlinked nature of humans and these technologies with regards to their possible impact on the dissemination of images and thus on binary gender norms. Chapters two-five begin with providing an extended theoretical basis for understanding the images that are analysed in that chapter. The focus of chapter two is the gender attribution process, the „sex signs‟ and aspects of gender roles that are involved and how their visual manipulation can challenge gender norms. Chapter three introduces Genderqueer as a concept of non-binary gender and looks at the portrayal of ambiguous gender in the images analysed, while chapter five uses discussions of „other spaces‟ to conceptualise a queer time and space. Chapters two, three and five look at amateur photographic images that are displayed on the photo-sharing website Flickr. Chapter four, however, uses gender variant visual artist Del LaGrace Volcano‟s images in the photo-book Femmes of Power to conceptualise femme as a subversive parody that queers and denaturalises femininity as essential to femaleness.
Its focus on amateur photography that is displayed on Flickr, the discussion of the potential of these new media technologies and the variety of theoretical strategies and image styles that are addressed give my thesis a unique approach to the visual portrayal of queer genders.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Keywords:"queer", "genderqueer", "contemporary photography", "gender","new media technologies", "femme", "queer time and space"
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 Sep 2011 11:17

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