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Title: Returning to Roissy: female submission and masochism in story of o and its adaptations
Authors: Taylor-Harman, Sarah
Advisors: Williamson, M
Hunt, L
Keywords: Film Studies;Literature Studies;Gender;Sexuality;Queer Theory
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: This thesis examines the construction of female sexuality under patriarchy through masochism and submission. Amongst its original contributions is the examination of: the first female authored BDSM novel Story of O (1954), its paratexts A Slave’s Revolt (1954), A Girl In Love (1969), and Story of O Part Two (1969), and adaptations Histoire d’O (1974) and The Training of Madison Young (2007), as case study. This includes close readings of the texts, as well as original research into their production, publication and distribution, and reception. This analysis is undertaken through a queer, feminist post-structuralist framework. Utilising both textual analysis and discourse analysis as its methods, the texts’ representations of gender and sexuality are thus explored in this frame as both the constructions of a complex nexus of continual productivity and intertextuality, and the product of, and producer of multiple discursive frameworks. This thesis thus posits that these texts are marked by a destabilising plurality and multiplicity of readings which shift in accordance to who is speaking, when, and why. This research therefore argues through its analysis of Story of O as case study, that female sexuality is constructed under patriarchy through a complex web of competing discourses that in their collective univocal assertions of a fixed ‘truth’, destabilise each other. The work offers a unique contribution to feminism, queer theory, post-structuralism, literary theory, pornography studies, film studies, and adaptation studies.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
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Dept of Arts and Humanities Theses

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