Intersex onscreen: An overview of recent fictional characters with intersex variations on television

Hart, Phoebe (2015) Intersex onscreen: An overview of recent fictional characters with intersex variations on television. In Mountforte, Paul (Ed.) Peer Reviewed Proceedings of the 6th Annual Conference Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (PopCAANZ), Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (PopCAANZ), Wellington, New Zealand, pp. 143-155.

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Throughout history, people with intersex variations have been positioned somewhere between ‘prodigy literature and pornography, mythology and medical discourse’ (Gilbert 2000, 145). Indubitably, contemporary representations have changed in step with societal values, yet it could be argued there is still slippage, and, moreover, very little is seen or heard about intersex at all. Where once there was the awe and horror of the highly visible carnival sideshow or medical treatise, the intersex body is now rendered absent by medical intervention, which is invoked to fix the intersexed in both mind and body. This paper explores the fictional representation of people with intersex variations on screen – television and film in predominantly the genres of drama and comedy – arriving finally at characters originating from program-makers willing to work closely with the intersex community. Such texts disrupt unwarranted categorization and erasure by “owning” discursive practices, defying current medical interference and promoting ethical debates around the will-to-normalise what is considered to be aberrant, deviant and abject.

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ID Code: 91140
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Film, Television, Intersex, Screen studies, Representation
ISBN: 9780473345785
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Film and Television (190204)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright © 2015 Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand.
Deposited On: 14 Dec 2015 00:05
Last Modified: 08 May 2016 23:18

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