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Archive, Transgender, Architecture: Woolf, Beckett, diller scofidio + renfro Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
Woolf
Baum
Derrida
architecture
Scofidio
fashion
modernism
Deleuze
fiction
transgender
archive
Beckett
Diller
queer
Renfro
space
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Crawford, Lucas C.
Supervisor and department
Chisholm, Dianne (English and Film Studies)
Heyes, Cressida (Philosophy)
Examining committee member and department
Cvetkovich, Ann (English, University of Texas at Austin)
Simpson, Mark (English and Film Studies)
O'Driscoll, Michael (English and Film Studies)
Luhmann, Susanne (Women's Studies)
Department
Department of English and Film Studies
Specialization
English
Date accepted
2011-12-14T15:25:12Z
Graduation date
2012-06
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
This project favours transgender narratives and affects inspired by exteriority, folds, queer décor, assemblage, and the archive. These spatial models help the project displace models of gender that are grounded in the concepts of enclosure, privacy, and property. As a response to the enforced interiority, integrity, and ownership of the trans subject, the project theorizes transgender as a series of modes (of actions rather than states) that push beyond the conscious agency of sovereign subjects to a new architectonic of “transing” affect. The constellation of modernist architectures that comprise this project share many concerns: how to remember, how to forget, how to transform, how to feel differently, and, ultimately, how to use art and aesthetic inquiry to become something new. First, diller scofidio + renfro’s (DS+R’s) Brasserie space in Manhattan injects cheeky queer-coded décor and fashion into their space as a response to high modernist abjections of “feminine” décor. The architects thereby turn the space into a self-conscious archive of gender. In Virginia Woolf’s Orlando: a Biography, the trans subject itself is treated as precisely such an archive of décor – one whose temporality exceeds and critiques the generic conventions of biography (a genre often respected as the truest form of transgender history and experience). Written just as transgender was becoming codified as a sexological (and medical) subject, Orlando: a Biography shows us an early alternative theory of transgender – one that makes fantasy, art, and writing absolutely central. Woolf’s critique of what this project calls the “biographical imperative” of transgender studies is extended by Samuel Beckett’s cryptic text, The Unnamable, in which the coherence of the subject is pushed to (and perhaps beyond) its limit – to a “groundless” relationship to language not unlike that experienced by trans name-changers. Finally, the project turns from its implicit urbanism (and that of queer theory) to consider, with L. Frank Baum’s The Marvelous Land of Oz, what might happen if less scripted spaces – such as “the rural” – were inhabited both literally and metaphorically by transgender.
Language
English
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
"Building a Theory of Transgender Architecture." Seattle Journal of Social Justice. Ed. Mary-Beth Leeper et al. June 2010.

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