School of Culture and Communication - Theses

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Conduct unbecoming: reconfiguring gender and genre in 1990s Hollywood cinema
    Di Risio, Patricia ( 2017)
    This study identifies an interplay between gender and genre in a 1990s Hollywood production context, and demonstrates how this undermines gender and genre categories. Late twentieth century post-classical Hollywood cinema experienced significant industrial changes which produced a range of different aesthetic practices. This study will demonstrate that the reconfiguration of the representation of women and femininity in this period has resulted in significant changes to Hollywood genre filmmaking practices. This investigation will make an original contribution by arguing that the intervention of female protagonists into conventionally male roles and genres has prompted some important changes and innovations to the codes and conventions of genre. The analysis will demonstrate how an interplay between gender and genre is enunciated through postmodern appropriation and subversion. An increasing use of genre hybridity, allusion, pastiche, parody and intertextuality has frequently relied on a subversive use of gender, in terms of women and femininity, in order to alter genre conventions. This is not viewed as a symptom of a decline in Hollywood filmmaking practices, but rather as a sign of a postmodern Hollywood aesthetic that addresses changing socio-cultural attitudes to women and femininity. The study examines a range of genres traditionally featuring male protagonists. It explores the direct relationship between unconventional female protagonists, playing roles usually reserved for men, and the resulting changes and innovations to genre conventions. Identifying the interplay between gender and genre highlights the interactive nature of the relationship between these elements and foregrounds the importance of understandings of gender on the codes and conventions of genre. As a result of these changes, the notion of gender oriented genre becomes increasingly reconsidered, especially in terms of the positions of identification that are offered to spectators. The study will focus on how these changes have been influenced by feminism and queer theory and are a response to important movements in the historical and socio-political context under investigation.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Faces in the shadows: an investigation into the anonymous diary A Woman in Berlin and A Rose in Winter, a fictional retelling of the Rosenstrasse Protest
    Bruce, Katherine Elizabeth ( 2013)
    This thesis represents the first in-depth academic examination of A Woman in Berlin, an anonymous diary first published in 1954 which detailed the experiences of a woman who experienced first-hand the chaotic weeks of April, May and June 1945 in the German capital, including the arrival of the Russian troops and their treatment of civilians. Her numerous diary entries, which cover a period of eight weeks and contain graphic accounts of the suffering she and others underwent, have frequently been quoted in historical descriptions of the period. Thus their historical value is beyond question, making the lack of investigation of the text even more surprising. To remedy this deficiency, several elements of A Woman in Berlin have been selected which, when examined, will give the reader a far deeper understanding of both diary and diarist. Chapter I considers the various tropes and themes that a reader may detect in the diary, looking at whether the traditional ideas associated with those genres are fulfilled, and how this fulfilment or subversion of it leads to the categorisation of the diary, as well as what this means for the reader. The second chapter focuses on the numerous intertextual references that appear in the diary, evaluating what their inclusion says about both the diarist’s literary knowledge and also her feelings at the moment that prompted her to include them in her recollections. The reader’s understanding of the diarist is further expanded in the third chapter by an examination of the various paratextual elements that make up the diary, in particular the illustrations that appear on the various covers, the fore- and afterwords written by people who seek to conceal the truth of the diarist’s identity and yet let slip numerous details about her, and finally the reaction that has greeted the diary upon its various publications. By focusing on these details, this investigation aims to give the reader an insight into both a fascinating retelling of history and also of a nameless diarist. The creative piece that forms the second part of this thesis is a fictionalised retelling of a little-known historical event known as the Rosenstrasse Protest. This uprising took place in Berlin during the end of February and early March 1943, when, having been prompted by the mass-arrest of the remaining Jews in the German capital, non-Jewish women gathered outside the building in which their husbands were being held and, for seven days, despite bombing raids and the constant, threatening presence of the SS, held a public protest. Despite annual memorial services held to remember this event, as well as a film directed by Margarethe von Trotta that told the story, which premiered in 2003, this event remains all but unknown, particularly to English-speaking audiences, and therefore ripe for retelling. With the event narrated in diary format, the reader is able to employ many of the techniques adopted in the critical study of A Woman in Berlin to come to participate in the unfolding narrative of A Rose in Winter.