Skewed Subject: a Topological Study of Subjectivity in Bollywood Films

Bibliographic Details
In:University of Oklahoma/Oklahoma State University: SHAREOK Repository
Resource Type: Druckerzeugnis Hochschulschrift
Published: Oklahoma State University, 2012-07-01
Contributor: Ghosh, Soumitra (Creator), Wallen, Martin (Contributor), Price, Brian (Contributor), Jacobson, Brian (Contributor), Borland, Jennifer (Contributor)
Description:This dissertation studies the rise and fall of Lacanian film theory from the 1960s to the present. After discussing the charges brought against Lacanian film theory from schools of thought as varied as Post−Theory, Analytical Philosophy and Gender Studies, this dissertation engages with the contemporary Lacanian theory’s turn to the Real as a response to these criticisms. Drawing on the notion of topology from the clinical side of Lacanian psychoanalysis, this dissertation finally proposes an original intervention in the field of Lacanian film theory. Through the analysis of seven Bollywood films, this dissertation argues that it is possible to conceive of a kind of skewed subjectivity that comes into being via an oblique relationship with the space of signification, by recognizing the Real qua objet petit a as that which is lacking in the Other, and then by manipulating the Other to reveal its lack. This dissertation argues that in theorizing about cinema, there is way to rethink the question of subjectivity without taking recourse in the ideas of spectatorship and identification. In contrast to early Lacanian film theory that sees the relationship between the subject and its Other as overdetermined and as a result, does not see any possibility of the subject’s autonomy, this dissertation argues that the subject comes into being in relation to failures or disturbances that are inherent in the functioning of the symbolic order. As a result, the subject comes into being not as a mere puppet of the Other; rather, the subject comes into being by manipulating the inconsistencies in the field of the Other. At the same time, this dissertation challenges the contemporary Lacanians’ claim about the absolute ascendancy of the Real as a category of experience over which the subject has no control. In contrast, this dissertation sees the Real as much more closely aligned with the structure of objet petit a , which can be understood as an object that appears to the subject as empty or missing. Just as the subject never really experiences objet petit a as a concrete object, in the same way, the Real is that which is missing from the subject’s experiential domain. Finally, this dissertation proposes a reversal of the claim that there is no subject without the Real and argues that there is no Real without the subject, and that there is no subject without objet petit a . ; English Department

text; Dissertation
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