The constitution of transgender masculinities through performance: a study of theatre and the everyday.
This doctoral project is concerned with gender and the way that transgender masculinities are manifested, articulated and debated through drama, theatre and performance. The central question of the research is how `performance' contributes to the process of constituting individual identities and communities, specifically transgender masculinities. The research engages with the multiple ways that the concepts or categories of the individual, of community and of performance are defined, and how they function and are experienced when transgender identities or transgender masculinities are central to a `performance event'. The particular individuals and groups of transgender-identified people, or people who might be described in relation to a trans framework of identity, are those for whom gender is not a fixed state rooted in a binary system, but a state that can be bent, moved or made malleable in order to fit according to individual need. The individuals and groups on whom I focus tend to have had their sex assigned female at birth and at some point in their lives have identified themselves as male rather than female. There are also individuals who do not self-identify as male but refute gender categorisation, thereby not identifying as female either. Moreover, there are people who still self-identify as female but have developed or produced markers of masculinity on their body that have a significant impact on their day-to-day living and in their performance work. In this thesis I will be referring to this range of varied identities as transgender masculinities. This research will be of relevance to contemporary theatre scholars, particularly those with an interest in the creation of avant-garde and community-generated practices. The research will also be of use to those interested in queer and non-normative identities as manifested through drama, theatre and performance, whether this is by solo artists or within project work with groups of people who identify as transgender, genderqueer or have an otherwise complex relationship to gender.
- Theses