Is that what you’re wearing? Gender diversity in contemporary fiction, a novel and exegesis

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Davidson, Kristy Lee (2012) Is that what you’re wearing? Gender diversity in contemporary fiction, a novel and exegesis. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


The methods of production of gender diverse characters within mainstream literary texts are an under-researched area from a creative writing standpoint. Is That What You’re Wearing? Gender Diversity in Contemporary Fiction, A Novel and Exegesis is a creative writing doctoral thesis which critically interrogates the signifiers and tropes that are employed to produce gender diversity in contemporary fiction, and their effects and impacts. The exegesis, Gender Diversity in Contemporary Fiction, contextualises the theoretical ground concerning gender diversity. It critically explores issues of cultural and material access to literary works featuring gender diverse protagonists. In addition, it compares and contrasts the production of gender diversity in three contemporary novels: Chris Bohjalian’s (2000) Trans-sister Radio; Jeffrey Eugenides’ (2002b) Middlesex; and Ali Smith’s (2007) Girl Meets Boy: The Myth of Iphis. Most significantly it discusses the manner in which these two aspects inform my creative writing practice in the novel Is That What You’re Wearing? The exegesis argues that creative writers require an increased awareness of issues of representation when writing about marginalised groups, such as gender diverse individuals, to avoid perpetuating problematic and commonly used representations that otherwise sustain their marginalisation in society. The novel, which features three gender diverse characters, is the practical outcome of this critical theoretical research. As per the requirements for Victoria University creative writing theses, the creative component forms 67 per cent of the thesis, and the critical exegesis, 33 per cent. The preferred reading order for the thesis is the novel (Volume One), then the exegesis (Volume Two).

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Communication and the Arts
Historical > FOR Classification > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society
Historical > FOR Classification > 2005 Literary Studies
Keywords novels, Berlin, Melbourne, literature, gender diversity, intersex, transgender people, social justice, Kristy Lee Davidson, fiction, Australian fiction, Australia
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