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B.S. in Actuarial Science

Otterbein University Course Catalogs

2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jun 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

INST 2809 - American/French Crossdressing Film Comedies: Theories/Ideologies of Gen(de)r(e)s

Hours: 3
Before the passage of marriage-for-all laws in France (2013) and the United States (2015), the representation of gender identity and transgender visibility in American and French mainstream film had been generically limited to cross-dressing comedies. Forced to adopt the opposite sex’s clothing and mannerisms to hide his or her gender and sexual identity temporarily to get a job, the cross-dresser in these narratives had always problematized notions of sex, gender, and sexuality. Nonetheless, mainstream cross-dressing narratives have always resolved this temporary gender fluidity with a heterosexual coupling, reiterating that cross-dressing in mainstream cinema has always served the purposes of heteronormative ideologies. Given the recent shift in American and French marriage laws to include same-sex couples, this course interrogates what impact the debate on same-sex marriage and its legalization has had on the representation of (trans-)gender identities and visibility in the American and French cinematic imaginary, and focuses on both classic cross-dressing narratives and recent gender-bending productions in both film industries, some of which have emerged in response to the debates on gender theory and same-sex marriage. It puts forth the argument that most recent gender-queer films not only engage with both the camps of the debate, but also depart from the conventional crossdressing narrative of mainstream comedy, paving the way for a new aesthetic, philosophical, and ethico-political representation of gender identities and relations in mainstream film and society. Capitalizing on the immersive pedagogies that film offers, we will aim to depathologize the in-betweens of the gender spectrum.