Standing Outside Oneself: Transgender Gazing in Antje Rávic Strubel’s Kältere Schichten der Luft (2007) and In den Wäldern des menschlichen Herzens (2016)
Join us at the next German Studies Lecture Series talk with Katie Sutton, Associate Professor of German at the Australian National University. Professor Sutton works on the history of gender and sexuality in Germany, and has published on psychoanalysis and sexology; trans movements in Weimar Germany; photography and literature.
Details about the talk:
Expanding upon early feminist discussions of the “male gaze” of classic Hollywood cinema, scholars have theorized the multiple modalities of a “transgender look” or “gaze.” This involves considering trans(*) or transgender perspectives not just in terms of identity, but as a way of seeing that refuses to privilege the real over the figurative, and that can enable characters to envisage alternative futures. In this presentation I argue for a trans reading of Antje Rávic Strubel’s 2007 novel Kältere Schichten der Luft, set in a canoeing camp in Sweden, and her 2016 episodic novel In den Wäldern des menschlichen Herzens. I argue that the transgender gaze is cultivated as a space of both refuge and possibility for the protagonists of these two works, with the later novel pushing beyond the temporary glimpses of queer and trans utopias in Kältere Schichten toward more permanent, although never fixed, representations of trans embodiment.
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Photo Credit: Christian Thiel/Antje Rávic Strubel image