Riot Dyke: Music, Identity, and Community in Lesbian Film [thesis]

Alana Kornelsen
This thesis examines the use of diegetic pre-composed music in three American lesbian feature films. Numerous trends can be noted in the selection of music in lesbian film broadlymusic is often selected to draw on insider knowledge of the target audience of these films, creating cachet. This cachet comes with accompanying "affiliating identifications" (Kassabian 2001) that allow music to be used in the films' construction of characters' identities. This is evident in the treatment of music in
more » ... tment of music in many lesbian films: characters frequently listen to, discuss, and perform music. This thesis focuses specifically on riot grrrl music and the closely linked genre of queercore (which together Halberstam ([2003] 2008) refers to as "riot dyke") in three films that focus on the lives of young women: The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love (dir. Maria Maggenti, 1995), All Over Me (dir. Alex Sichel, 1997), and Itty Bitty Titty Committee (dir. Jamie Babbit, 2007). By examining how diegetic riot dyke music is used in these three films to build characters' identities and contribute to the films' narratives I argue that in these films, riot dyke music is presented as being central to certain queer identities and communities, and that this music (as well as the community that often accompanies it) is portrayed as instigating or providing opportunities for characters' personal growth and affirming characters' identities in adverse environments. iii Acknowledgements First and foremost, I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Anna Hoefnagels, for her guidance, support, and encouragement during the process of writing this thesis and over the duration of this program. Her input and critique has been invaluable and her reassurance and confidence in me have helped to guide me through this process.
doi:10.22215/etd/2016-11684 fatcat:ooqvoqxonffqdhdsp3leimr244