Drama and Theatre Studies, De Montfort University
This practice-based PhD will use an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the agency-filled potential of femininity and masquerade. It will take as a starting point Laura Mulvey’s 1975 essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’, which transformed the way that we viewed the female image on screen and the position of the masculinised spectator. However, many criticisms have since emerged, highlighting how Mulvey fails to consider the female spectator, prioritises the heterosexual gaze, and ignores other potentials of looking (Doane 1982; Kaplan 1982; Mayne 1991).
My thesis will examine the work of contemporary female artists through a re-envisaging of the male gaze, including writings on the queer gaze (Wray 2012), particularly the newest photo series by Cindy Sherman, Louis Weaver’s performances exploring age and sexuality, and the recently rediscovered work of 1970s sex positive feminist artist, Penny Slinger. Significantly developing upon this practice, I will be making my own performative intermedial investigations of femininity throughout this PhD, displaying innovative hyper femme personas that challenge the often reductive positioning of the starlet and the ageing actress.
Me, Myself and I: Exploring The Live Presence and Embodiment of The Femme in Mediatized Performance, Sapienza University; Italy, Dance and Performance Post-Graduate Conference, 7-8th April 2016.
‘Learning From and Moving Beyond Hollywood: Reconsidering the Underground Career of Bettie Page Through a Live Art Perspective’,Women in Hollywood symposium, hosted by De Montfort University, 28th May 2018.
From Parody to Monstrosity: Re-envisaging the overlooked starlet figure through a Feminist Practice-Based Perspective, De Montfort University, Leicester, CATHIconference hosted by the Cinema and Television History Institute, 14th June 2019.
Upcoming publication: I am guest editing a special issue in the International Journal of Creative Media Research, on the conference that I organised Cracking the Established Order: Practice-based research in Academia. This will be published in May.