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Performing Agency - Contemporary Burlesque and the Feminist Gaze

Dickson, Hannah (2022) Performing Agency - Contemporary Burlesque and the Feminist Gaze. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Dickson, Hannah

Building off Laura Mulvey’s theories on the male gaze as well as bell hooks’ theories on the oppositional gaze and Indigenous scholars Carla Rice et al.’s research on the anti-colonial gaze, this paper will define the feminist gaze as an active and informed rejection of the objectifying and power-hungry white, heteropatriarchal, male gaze. Performances done through or for the feminist gaze can be interpreted as empowered and done primarily for the self, in order to activate and engage with one’s agency and subjecthood. Through analysis of the work of two burlesque performers, Miss Paige and Lou Lou la Duchesse de Rière, the feminist gaze can be understood as an active refusal and disentanglement of the male gaze, which constricts women, femmes, and queer people to the role of passive object, providing the performer with opportunities to construct new, intersectional ways of seeing and being that center the self and one’s own agency. Contemporary burlesque uses this feminist gaze to create performances that allow the performer to reject this way of being seen by others and find their own empowerment and agency through a performance of their sexuality that is done for themselves, to resist oppression and celebrate their own pleasure.

Date: 12 May 2022
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories
Date Deposited: 13 May 2022 16:05
Last Modified: 13 May 2022 16:05
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/3747

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