Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Queer TimingThe Emergence of Lesbian Sexuality in Early Cinema$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Susan Potter

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042461

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042461.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Mobilizing Genre

Mobilizing Genre

The Wild Party’s Sexual Kinesthetics

(p.80) 4. Mobilizing Genre
Queer Timing

Susan Potter

University of Illinois Press

This chapter considers the sexuality effects of a film released on the cusp of the transition to sound and which redeploys the codes of a nearly exhausted genre, the flapper film. While several scholars have read The Wild Party (dir. Dorothy Arzner, Paramount Lasky, 1929) in terms of its lesbian subtext, a mode of interpretation shaped by a representational regime that postdates the film’s release, this chapter traces how the visual erotics mobilized across the entire film render such scenes sexually legible. “Mobilizing Genre” argues that the site through which lesbian possibilities are paradoxically screened—that is, both projected and hidden from view—is the sexualized and kinetic body of the feminine flapper. In failing to anchor same-sex desire definitively to any one sexual category, The Wild Party’s sexual kinesthetics demonstrate the centrality of same-sex desire to female spectatorship in Hollywood cinema, and its intimate and productive relation to new erotic discourses of both homo- and heterosexuality.

Keywords:   Dorothy Arzner, Female spectatorship, Flapper film, Heterosexuality, Homosexuality, Kinesthetics, Lesbian, Subtext, Same-sex desire

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.