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Title: Dublin in drag : cultural performativity in the works of James Joyce
Author: Savard, Ashley Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 6420 8521
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2017
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This study engages in both an examination of Judith Butler’s theories of gender performativity and how they might be applied to culture as well as a reading of cultural performance in James Joyce’s works. The dual-nature of this study provides an opportunity to utilize literary works in the reading of theoretical texts and is not simply a reading of Joyce’s works through a lens of Butlerian performativity. In doing so, this thesis will explore a wide range of performances, from Joyce’s own performative identity as an “exile”, to the performative relationships initiated by naming rituals, the performative use of catechistic question and answer, as well as the fluidity of performative identities in Joyce’s array of cultural characters. At the heart of this study is the sense that Joyce’s characters are uniquely self-conscious in the way that they take up culture and can therefore be utilized in a re-examination of drag performance in Butler. The developmental aim of this thesis is not only to study cultural performativity in James Joyce’s works and the unique position of the Irish as self-consciously performative, but also to provide a new means for reading cultural performativity through a theory of cultural drag. The theatricalization of culture through “drag” performance allows for a distinctly self-conscious method of performing culture which does not rely on reactionary performances of “Us/ Them” in traditional colonial binaries. Keeping in mind the various cultural pressures, including colonialist and nationalist interpretations of the cultural being, cultural drag maintains a degree of agency within identity construction, presenting spectrums of cultural performances and the degrees of “belonging” that might be attributed to them. Cultural drag explores and celebrates divergence – the reading of an identity as performative – by examining the performative relationships between actor and audience: the cultural being and the observer’s perception of that being.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available