Illegible [electronic resource] : asexualities in media, literature, and performance
- Karli June Cerankowski.
- Physical description
- 1 online resource.
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|3781 2014 C||In-library use|
- This dissertation argues that asexuality, "an orientation describing people who do not experience sexual attraction" (Asexual Visibility and Education Network), presents a queer way of thinking about sexual subjectivity, desire, and intimacy. I chart the growth of a global asexual community through a mixed archive of novels, documentary film, television shows, websites, and sexological literature. My analyses indicate that asexuality remains illegible in a culture that valorizes sexual relationships and follows a sex-normative ideology that upholds sexual desire as an innate drive. For example, asexual and celibate people are often regarded as immature, in need of hormonal or medical intervention, as repressed, or as victims of sexual abuse. My project uncovers counter-narratives that challenge these assumptions in order to refigure asexuality not as an absence or lack, but as a way of desiring differently and creating new queer intimacies. I make the case for an expansive conceptualization of asexualities that may consist of identity, sexual orientation, a set of practices, a style, or a temporal inhabitance that bears a relationship to disability, a medical condition, psychological trauma, or spiritual practice, with the understanding that these are non-pathological ways to express asexuality.
- Publication date
- Submitted to the Program in Modern Thought and Literature.
- Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2014.
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