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Rethinking ‘Identities’

Cultural Articulations of Alterity and Resistance in the New Millennium


Edited By Lucille Cairns and Santiago Fouz-Hernandez

This volume sets out to re-imagine the theoretical and epistemological presuppositions of existing scholarship on identities. Despite a well-established body of scholarly texts that examine the concept from a wide range of perspectives, there is a surprising dearth of work on multiple, heterogeneous forms of identity. Numerous studies of ethnic, linguistic, regional and religious identities have appeared, but largely in isolation from one another.
Rethinking ‘Identities’ is a multi-authored project that is original in providing – in distributed and granular mode – a hyper-contemporary and wide-ranging applied analysis that questions notions of identity based on nation and region, language, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion or even ‘the human’. The volume achieves this by mobilizing various contexts of identity (gender, ethnicity, sexuality, nation) and medium (art, cinema, literature, music, theatre, video). Emphasizing the extreme contemporary (the twenty-first century) and the challenges posed by an increasingly global society, this collection of essays builds upon existing intellectual investigations of identity with the aim of offering a fresh perspective that transcends cognitive and geographical frontiers.
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Doris Leibetseder: Fem(me) Tracks: Queer Fem(me)inist Strategies of Resistance in Rock and Pop Music, from Angie Reed to Denice Fredriksson



‘Femme is at its essence a frequency you tune into’

—CAROLINE (Volcano, Dahl 2008: 30)

In this essay I present strategies used by queer fem(me)s that challenge the notion of identity based on gender and sexuality. First I theorize the strategies and then I illustrate them with examples from twenty-first century musicians who are mainly active in Austria or Germany. The description of strategies such as irony, parody, camp, mask/masquerade and mimesis/mimicry shows that women are able to subvert conventions of patriarchal, heteronormative and therefore binary gendered cultural practices through the medium of rock and pop music. The focus lies on the re-defined identity of fem(me)inist lesbians with specific regard to the fem(me) subculture within the queer scene and its struggles for visibility, which should not portray fem(me) exclusively as a counterpart to butch, but in all her varieties. As the following quotation highlights, ‘many of the previous generation ← 43 | 44 → of femmes define their sexuality in their desire for and their intention to be found desirable by specifically masculine counterparts. Some younger femmes seek to liberate themselves from this dyadic history in the same way as those expressing female masculinity independent of fem(me)ininity’; we are dealing here with ‘transgressive femme performances which serve not as regulating icons, but as options for subversive expressions of fem(me)ininity’ (Maltry and Tucker 2002: 99). The outcome of my essay is an applied analysis...

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