Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Performing the self(ie): performance studies, selfies and feminist identities
Authors: Hampton, Claire
Advisors: Mitra, R
Richards, M
Keywords: Autobiography;Feminist new materialism;Dramaturgy;Performativity;Temporality
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: This thesis examines selfies through the lens of performance studies, specifically mobilising the concepts of dramaturgy, performativity, eventness, and theatricality, to consider the relationship between selfies and feminist new materialist politics of subjectivity. It employs an autoethnographic methodology to reflect on the performative and affective potential of selfie –taking as an embodied and authorial act of space-making and self-witnessing, particularly for female self-narrating subjects who are negotiating trauma and illness. It charts an alternative, feminist, genealogy of the selfie, through Renaissance selfportraiture and 20th century self-reflexive photography practices, considering feminist deployments of staging, framing, and mirroring in the construction of subjectivity via the visual mise-en-scène. It considers the polemic debate between narcissism and agency that has pervaded scholarly and cultural discussions of selfie-taking, offering an alternative reading that emerges from the interstice between pro-selfie feminist rhetoric, selfies as materialist identity practice, and selfie-taking as a political act. Employing a taxonomy of performance (studies), the thesis negotiates the porous boundaries between broad, narrow, and flexible understandings of performance, and applies these to consider the spatiotemporal quality of selfies. It questions how the intermedial conditions that structure selfietaking create a space of liminal potential. The thesis posits the neo-concept of hypernormativity as a way of articulating the transgressive possibilities of self-reflexive visual autobiographical modes of performance, positioning selfies as a practice through which hegemonic norms and subordinating ideologies can be resisted and subverted. The project draws performance (studies) and selfie practices into a reciprocal dialogue and offers a reflection on dramaturgical praxis through the lens of the selfie, coining the portmanteau selfie-turgy as a term to describe self-mediated and reflexive approaches to the holistic and creative design of affective autobiographical performance. Finally, this thesis offers a productive collapse between form and content. The autoethnographic methodology enables the document itself to embody the structure of a selfie, consequently it functions as an example of self-mediated and self-reflexive subjective representation, whilst simultaneously offering theorisations on the same practices.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Theatre
Dept of Arts and Humanities Theses

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
FulltextThesis.pdfEmbargoed until 24/05/202510.56 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in BURA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.