N. 2 (2016): Humosexually Speaking. Laughter and the Intersections of Gender
Articoli

Of Carnivalesque, Homosexuality, In-between Spaces and Border Crossing

Nicoletta Vallorani
Biografia

Pubblicato 2016-11-15

Come citare

Vallorani, N. (2016). Of Carnivalesque, Homosexuality, In-between Spaces and Border Crossing. De Genere - Rivista Di Studi Letterari, Postcoloniali E Di Genere, (2). Recuperato da https://www.degenere-journal.it/index.php/degenere/article/view/40

Abstract

In Bakhtin’s epistemology (Bakhtin 1968), carnival is posited as the symbolic place where the authoritative discourse may be subverted in order to produce a different kind of knowledge, thus triggering a counterhegemonic discourse where – as Butler maintains (Butler 2004) – parody, mimicry, repetition and performances result in the staging of identity as masquerade. In both LGTB and postcolonial cultures, the tools of the carnivalesque, more or less in the same period, has been alternatively used for identity construction and for critical deconstruction. Two different, tough often overlapping, forms of otherness have started walking the bridge of between the margins and a gradually less and less defined centre. For both, the main issue of their representational practices used to be found in their resistance to what Foucault called "regulatory ideal" disciplining the relation between the accepted social norm and the anomaly (Foucault 1998). My contention is that the same tools exploited to resist and react the pressures towards the normalization – tools in themselves very functional to the process of coming out in the homosexual community and that of integration for the postcolonial Other – are now being transformed into a strategy to keep both the sexual and the colonial Other on the bridge, in the ghetto of a carnival that, being marked as an exception to the social rule, fails to be dangerous. Drawing on some very recent versions of Bakhtin’s carnivalesque in literature, films and visual and performative arts, I will try to show how the disruptive power of the grotesque/carnivalesque body, with reference to both the postcolonial and the LGTB otherness, has gradually gone lost, to be replaced by the reassuring feeling that these kinds of difference do not belong with the real world and therefore they do not imply the actual revision of social and political practices.

Riferimenti bibliografici

  1. Anderson, Benedict. 1996 [1983]. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.
  2. Aufderheide, Patricia. 2007. Documentary Filmmaking: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  3. Baker, Roger. 1994. Drag: A History of Female Impersonation in the Performin Arts. New York: New York University Press.
  4. Bakhtin, Mikhail M. 1984. Rabelais and His World. Translated by Helene Iswolsky. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  5. Bhabha, Homi K. 1983. "The Other Question: The Stereotype and Colonial Discourse." Screen 24.6: 18-36.
  6. Bhabha, Homi K. 1987. "What Does the Black Man Want?" New Formations 1: 118-124.
  7. Boskin, Joseph. 1997. Rebellious Laughter: People's Humor in American Culture. Syracuse (NY): Syracuse University Press.
  8. Brooks, Peter. 1993. Body Work. Objects of Desire in Modern Narrative. London and Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  9. Butler, Judith. 1990. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge.
  10. Butler, Judith. 1993. "Gender is Burning: Questions of Appropriateness and Subversion." In That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex", 121-140. New York: Routledge.
  11. Corner, John. 1996. The Art of Record: A Critical Introduction to Documentary. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  12. Davis, Kimberly C. 1999. "White Filmmakers and Minority Subjects: Cinema Vérité and the Politics of Irony in Hoop Dreams and Paris Is Burning." South Atlantic Review 64.1: 26-47.
  13. Featherstone, Simon. 2005. Postcolonial Cultures. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  14. Garber, Marjorie. 1992. Vested Interests. Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety. New York: Routledge.
  15. Harper, Philip B. 1994. "The Subversive Edge': Paris Is Burning, Social Critique, and the Limits of Subjective Agency." Diacritics 24.2-3: 90-103.
  16. Hall, Stuart. 1997. "Race, The Floating Signifier." Accessed 9 November 2016. http://www.mediaed.org/transcripts/Stuart-Hall-Race-the-Floating-Signifier-Transcript.pdf.
  17. Hanson, Helen. 1999. "The Figure in Question: The Transvestite Character as a Narrative Strategy in The Crying Game." In The Body's Perilous Pleasures, edited by Michele Aaron, 49-66. Edinbourgh: Edinbourgh University Press.
  18. Kushner, Tony. 1994. Angels in America. Part II: Perestroika. London: Nick Hern.
  19. Leane, Jeanine. 2013. "Rites/Rights/Writes of Passage: Identity Construction in Australian Aboriginal Young Adult Fiction." In A Companion to Australian Literature, edited by Belinda Wheeler, 107-121. Rochester, New York: New York Camden House.
  20. Loughrey, Clarisse. 2016. "Roland Emmerich Hits Back at Stonewall Whitewashing Criticism." The Independent, 26 June 2016. Accessed 9 November 2016. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/roland-emmerich-hits-back-at-stonewall-whitewashing-criticisms-claims-it-was-white-event-a7104476.html.
  21. McCabe, Patrick. 1998. Breakfast on Pluto. London: Picador.
  22. Neveldine, Robert B. 1998. Bodies at Risk. Unsafe Limits in the Romanticism and Postmodernism. New York: State of New York Press.
  23. Pfister, Manfred. 2002. A History of English Laughter: Laughter from Beowulf to Beckett and Beyond. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
  24. Pratt, Marie Louise. 1992. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing And Transculturation. London: Routledge.
  25. Russo, Mary. 1994. The Female Grotesque. Risk, Excess And Modernity. London & New York: Routledge.
  26. Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. 1994 [1990]. Epistemology of the Closet. London: Penguin.
  27. Sini, Stefania. 2011. Michail Bachtin. Una critica del pensiero dialogico. Roma: Carocci.
  28. Sontag, Susan. 1982. "Notes on Camp (1964)." In The Susan Sontag Reader, 100-103. New York: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux.
  29. Stone, Sandy. 1987. The "Empire" Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto. Accessed 9 November 2016. http://sandystone.com/empire-strikes-back.pdf.
  30. Reichl, Susanne and Mark Stein. 2005. "Introduction." In Cheeky Fictions Laughter and the Postcolonial, edited by Susanne Reichl and Mark Stein, 1-25. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi.