Type of Document Dissertation Author Goins, Darren C. Author's Email Address email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-06092004-160703 Title Performing Masculinities: U.S. Representations of the Male Body in Performance Art Monologues Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Department Speech Communication Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Ruth Laurion Bowman Committee Chair James Catano Committee Member Michael Bowman Committee Member Patricia Suchy Committee Member Marchita Mauck Dean's Representative Keywords
- performance art
- solo performance
- lily tomlin
- veris-realistic representation
- eric bogosian
- whoopi goldberg
- john leguizamo
- brecht-based aesthetics
Date of Defense 2004-05-20 Availability unrestricted AbstractIn this study, I describe and analyze the masculinities constructed in four performance art monologues staged in the US on Broadway. I examined Whoopi Goldberg’s 1984 performance Whoopi Goldberg Live, Lily Tomlin’s 1987 performance in Jane Wagner’s The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Eric Bogosian’s 1990 performance Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, and John Leguizamo’s 1998 performance Freak: A Semi-Demi-Quasi-Pseudo Autobiography. My method of analysis is a critical interpretation incorporating the lenses of Robert Connell and Victor Seidler. It is grounded in a social-cultural perspective using Arthur W. Frank’s “sociology of the body.” By means of Connell, Seidler, and Frank’s theories, I conceptualize human behavior, gender in particular, in light of the social signs and codes, roles, and identities, that the performers’ bodies represent.
The shows advance social critiques to their audience while also meeting the expectations of the popular marketplace by incorporating representational and presentational aesthetics. By evaluating and reconceiving the constructed nature of the self in and by means of performance, the performances advance a praxis. In light of my interest, they serve as a model for masculinities, as everyday actors, might (re-)conceive of and construct their lives, identities, and relationships.
This study contributes to the growing literature and discourses concerned with representations of the male body and masculinities, particularly in live performance. In particular, this study offers an analysis of performance art monologues presented to the mainstream audiences that tend to frequent Broadway shows and that focus on diverse masculinities.
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