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Screening Drag: The Legacy Ignited by Paris is Burning in Selected American TV shows

Miller, Thea Eppie (2024) Screening Drag: The Legacy Ignited by Paris is Burning in Selected American TV shows. Doctoral thesis, York St John University.

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Abstract

This thesis positions Paris Is Burning (Livingston, J. 1990) as a seminal text which has had a huge impact on the representation of drag, gender, and sexuality identity in contemporary American TV. The film engendered much of the prominent queer theory of the early 1990s, scholars such as Judith Butler, bell hooks, Peggy Phelan and Jackie Goldsby all engaged in analysis of this film as a means of exploring their varying studies and considered the film within their important critical works on gender, sexuality, race, queerness, and intersectionality. Through an analysis of TV and other selected texts, I will show the documentary’s resonance as an ur-text within current socio-political and media landscapes and how it continues to inform readings of queer culture in public, media and academic discourses. It will focus on how contemporary texts such as RuPaul’s Drag Race (2009-Present), Pose (2018-2021) and We’re Here (2020-Present) remain a part of the ongoing discourse surrounding Paris is Burning. Using qualitative research methods such as the close textual analysis of selected case studies, the synthesising of critical writings and other sources such as published interviews and articles and their connection with formative and evolving theory within the disciplines of screen and queer studies, this thesis explores how certain
pivotal texts shape our understanding of culture and sub-cultural intersectionality and prove to be a rich source of inspiration for creators and commentators to this day.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Status: Published
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/10241

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