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Bursting the Bubble: Queer Performances in the Jewish Diaspora

By David Meron Gorshein, Los Angeles University of California and advisor Sue-Ellen Case

Abstract

This dissertation engages theories of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender identification in a study of contemporary performances in the U.S. and Israel. The dissertation interrogates the relationship between nation and diaspora, by revising the legacy of notable titles of theater and film, including: Torch Song Trilogy (1982), Bent (1979), Angels in America (1993), and Sandra Bernhard's Without YOU I'm Nothing! (1990). The prominence of these titles has been celebrated, but the construction of the identifications at the core of their success has not yet been parsed. Each chapter also archives more recent performances, including selections from Israeli cinema, "radical solo circus theater" by Sara Felder, and a "techno-diasporic" online time machine staged by Kate Bornstein.In addition to tracing the constructions of Jewish/ethnic identity that are specific to the national context of the United States, the dissertation includes performative examples that imagine a transnational "Israeli" identification in the context of globalization. The dissertation examines how queer identity is understood by Israeli productions in film and theater, as queer discourses in Hebrew draw on the established biases of Euro-American theory. Each chapter focuses on performances that embody what is conventionally regarded as oppositional, for example, lesbian studies and queer studies (chapter 2), or "live" theater and film (chapter 3). At the intersection of ethnicity and gender, the dissertation documents new critical strategies in performance studies, Jewish studies, and sexuality studies.Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of California, Los Angeles, 2011.School code: 0031

Topics: Jews, Jewish diaspora, Queer studies, Motion pictures, Theater, Motion pictures, Israeli cinema
OAI identifier: oai:digital.cjh.org:1633872
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