"Displacing Phallogocentrism: Fragmented Subjects and Transgendered Bodies" synthesizes theories about gender construction and identity formation as proposed by Simone de Beauvoir, Judith Butler, Julia Kristeva, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Lacan, and proposes that the cultural sediment created by heteronormativity and phallogocentrism can be displaced by the proliferative re-conceptualization and re-signification of transgendered subjects. Because the relationship between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary, Simone de Beauvoir's theory about the inner identity's desire for transcendence and Judith Butler's theory about the materiality of the signifier demonstrate how subjects are 1.) always already transgendered, and 2.) constantly reshaping the material world through re-signification. Jeanette Winterson's Sexing the Cherry dramatizes the act of displacing phallogocentrism by allegorizing the notion through the corporations and Puritans that her fragmented female protagonist, the chemist/Dog-Woman, is fighting against. Because heteronormativity and phallogocentrism can only be displaced by the fragmented and transgendered subject, Winterson shows how it is only after her male protagonist, Nicolas/Jordan, has grafted a feminine identity onto himself and become a transgendered subject when he can finally be free from the shackles of phallogocentrism and re-signify the future. Because phallogocentrism compels subjects to reiterate socially-constructed sedimentations that unevenly distribute power to some subjects while disenfranchising others, this thesis highlights the imperative need to displace the sedimentation of phallogocentrism in order to transgender the body and re-conceptualize the world.
Thesis (M.A.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2017
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