Moving Gender: Queer Corporealities & the Elusiveness of Phenomenal Space
This paper will investigate the connection between a queer way of being in the world – wherein one’s bodily action is incapable of and/or denied extension into phenomenal space – and the lived material realties of queerness itself. In order to venture such an analogous relationship one would have to accept that the same or similar conditions which create a queer way of being in the world are also lived or experienced by queer identifying subjects; this paper will suggest just that. Through an inquiry into epileptic seizures – as events which are not only queer within themselves but have the effect, involuntary as they may be, of overcoming the queer moment, of recalibrating queerness in an attempt to (re)adjust one’s being in the world – this paper will ask: how does one extend their body through or reach out into phenomenal space when such spaces are obscured or temporarily concealed? By providing an analysis of phenomenal space, as theorised by Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1962), this paper will focus on movement, seeking to understand what happens to our movement when our awareness becomes confused or ruptured and how such opacity inhibits our bodily action/s.
Joseph Appleton is a PhD candidate working across the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies and the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. Joseph’s research areas of interest include: embodiment, phenomenology, queer theory, critical disability studies, ethnography, gender/identity/sexuality in performance, political performance/s, dangerous performance/s, and ritual. Previously, Joseph’s research has been focussed on critical and creative pedagogies, as well as issues surrounding performance and ethics when (re)staging asylum in Australia. Joseph also works as an arts practitioner on various group and community developed projects in Melbourne, Australia, and they have taught/coordinated undergraduate subjects for the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, as well as delivered interdisciplinary units across the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, at the University of Sydney.