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Title: Relocating cities and dissident sexualities : queer urban geographies in recent Latin American cinema
Author: Hoff, Benedict Charles
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 5806
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis explores how the relationship between urban space and dissident sexualities has been represented in recent Latin American cinema. More specifically, it considers how this representation disturbs, remaps and relocates broader (hegemonic) imagined geographies of sexuality and the problematic sets of binaries around which they have been constructed. The study argues that the films in question are characterised by overtly queer urban geographies, in which sexual identity, transgression and liberation appear as highly contingent phenomena that can never wholly assume a position of exteriority in relation to hegemonic power structures. The General Introduction begins by outlining the broad conceptual framework in which my discussion is situated, tracing the relationship between cities, cinema and dissident sexuality. It then outlines the scope of the thesis as a specifically critical intervention, proposing a queer methodology with regards to the analysis of the films which follows. The chapters comprising Part One examine metropolitan spaces of dissident sexuality pertaining to the cities of Buenos Aires and Medellin as they are imagined in Un ano sin amor (Anahi Berneri, 2005) and La virgen de los sicarios (Barbet Schroder, 2000) respectively. It explores how these cities are (de)constructed as centres of (de )regulation with regards to dissident sexualities, bodies and desires. In this respect, Chapter One argues SIM as it appears in Berneri' s film to be both antithetical to and yet also highly reliant on local/global economic structures. Chapter Two, in turn, suggests that the economy of violence envisaged in Schroeder's film is both conducive and detrimental to the construction of gay identity and political consciousness. The chapters comprising Part Two progress to focus on the representation of marginal sexualised spaces in filmic depictions of Recife and Rio de Janeiro in Claudio Assis's Amarelo Manga (2002) and Karim Alnouz's Madame Sata (2002), respectively, investigating how they appear both as peripheral to and yet also highly integrated into the wider urban/global fabric. Chapter Three, in this respect, proposes the misogyny and homophobia present amongst the male characters of Assis's film to be products of 'modern' Brazil as opposed to a 'sexual hinterland' still steeped in tradition. Chapter Four, takes this discussion forward in relation to Alnouz's rendering of 1920s/30s Lapa, considering how the queer discourse I associate with the protagonist disrupts understandings of sexual emancipation as an entirely contemporary and 'foreign' phenomenon issuing solely from North Atlantic domains. Diverse in approach, the films selected, unlike the frequently polarised debates occurring in the academe, do not assume inflexible subjective positions or seek to provide coherent, fully-legible accounts of highly complex issues which defy totalising explanations. In this respect, by offering a specifically queer perspective on the way in which urban space and dissident sexualities (re )produce each other in these films, this thesis seeks to decentre current debates occurring within the domain of film studies, cultural geography, sexuality politics and urban studies, and relocate them into a Latin American context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available