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Redrawing the Lines: Queer Metronormativity in French Contexts

Cridlin, R. Cole (2022) Redrawing the Lines: Queer Metronormativity in French Contexts. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The city occupies a central role in the contemporary queer imagination to the extent that Jack Halberstam coins the term metronormativity to describe the cultural preoccupation with urban spaces in the articulation and social validation of queer life. Despite the burgeoning of contributions to queer scholarship in the almost two decades since Halberstam first defined the term, there remains a tacit reliance upon urban geographies and cultural notions in the configuration of contemporary queer subjectivities. Although there are notable examples of scholarship that attempt to decenter metronormativity, to date there exists no scholarly work that directly considers the extent to which queer metronormativity might be said to function within French culture. This dissertation addresses this dearth of scholarship by contextualizing the function of metronormativity in a corpus of contemporary works of French literature and film between 2004 and 2016 to arrive at the conceptualization of a queer French metronormativity. It begins by introducing the concept of queer metronormativity in its most paradigmatic form by way of contemporary gay male narrative in Édouard Louis’ Histoire de la violence/History of Violence (2016) and Mathieu Riboulet’s Avec Bastien/With Bastien (2010). It then complicates the standard concept of metronormativity as an urban-terminal process through a consideration of two queer French road movies, Jérôme Reybaud’s Jours de France/4 Days in France (2016) and Valérie Minetto’s Oublier Cheyenne/Looking for Cheyenne (2005). The third chapter continues to problematize the linear narrative of queer metronormativity in Sébastien Lifshitz’ Wild Side (2004) through a consideration of how post-rural transsexual embodiment and melancholia are able to become integrated to produce new, hybridized subjectivities in the film’s protagonist. Finally, I extend my consideration of queer metronormativity to Abdellah Taïa’s autofictive novels L’Armée du salut/Salvation Army (2007) and Une Mélancolie arabe/An Arab Melancholia (2008) to ponder the implications of the concept when articulated by a Francophone North African author. This dissertation ultimately demonstrates that queer French metronormativity is part of a larger cultural process by which queer meaning is continually (re)negotiated across rural and urban geographies to produce hybridized forms of subjectivity that resist simple rural/urban binarism.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Cridlin, R. Colercc35@pitt.edurcc35
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee MemberHogg, Chloéhoggca@pitt.eduhoggca
Committee MemberMecchia, Giuseppinamecchia@pitt.edumecchia
Committee MemberPettersen, Davidpettersen@pitt.edupettersen
Committee MemberProvencher,
Committee ChairReeser, Toddreeser@pitt.edureeser
Date: 7 August 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 1 October 2021
Approval Date: 7 August 2022
Submission Date: 4 November 2021
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 258
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > French
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: queer, metronormativity, French, subjectivity, rurality, urbanism, Édouard Louis, Mathieu Riboulet, Jérôme Reybaud, Valérie Minetto, Sébastien Lifshitz, Abdellah Taïa, Histoire de la violence, History of Violence, Avec Bastien, With Bastien, Jours de France, 4 Days in France, Oublier Cheyenne, Looking for Cheyenne, Wild Side, L'Armée du salut, Salvation Army, Une Mélancolie arabe, An Arab Melancholia
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2022 15:32
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2022 15:32


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