Queer Intercorporeality: Bodily Disruption of Straight Space
Thesis DisciplineGender Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis explores the potential of queer embodiment through the experiences of transgendered people. After discussing the importance of researching the body, often left out of academic enquiry, I engage with theoretical frames that radically reconfigure concepts of subjectivity providing the means to reveal the innovative forms of embodiment that participants embrace. Within these frameworks the mind/body division is disrupted and reconfigured to demonstrate that these are not separate entities rather the mind exists in the body as does the body in the mind. Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari's version of the becoming body, I locate the body as a vibrant multiplicity of particles capable of infinite connections as opposed to a separated and contained entity. Through approaching embodiment as a never ending process of becoming I look to the way in which spatial settings such as the family have a major influence on the way in which bodies are formulated. In these spaces, I contend, bodies are directed and regulated to conform to dominant understandings of being. Such directing I argue creates 'straight' bodies/space restricting the presence of queer bodies and the disruption they embody. Extending this spatial investigation I look to the way in which open spaces are straight spaces and how the dynamics of such spaces create the queer body as hyper-visible. Exploring queer as a spatial term I suggest that the queer body exists at an angle to the normative straight line creating new and challenging ways of living. A major theme that runs throughout this thesis is the intercorporeal nature of bodies. In developing this concept I demonstrate the generosity of queer bodies and their radical disruption of the distinction between maleness and femaleness. In doing so I explore how bodies are spatially sexed according to the myth of two-sexes, disrupting such a limited view I demonstrate how queer bodies have the potential to move beyond the boundaries of recognizable identity/bodily categorizes and anatomical understandings and embrace a space of intermezzo/ in-betweeness.