Student Profile

Anna Breckon

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Thesis Title

Queer Moments of Cinematic Happiness

Supervisors

Melissa Hardie

Annamarie Jagose

Thesis Abstract

Drawing on recent work within affect studies, feminist and queer theory, my thesis looks at the ways in which a number of art-house films by auteur directors offer insight into contemporary conceptualisations of happiness.

This project considers happiness’ relation to fantasies of the good life, its compatibility with ideologies of self-determination and individual responsibility, and the way it functions to maximise productivity and consumption. A key cluster of questions is what ways of being, relational forms, temporalities, and worlds are created and sustained through the cultural valorisation of happiness?

The greater part of this thesis is concerned, however, with the alternative models of happiness illuminated by the films in question: how do these films enable us to imagine new worlds and new relational formations through the question of happiness?

My method of interpretation involves an analysis of meaning produced at the level of symbolic articulation and embodied spectatorial experience.

Professional and/or Community Engagement

Over the last decade I have been actively involved in screen production in the various roles of editor, director, producer, first assistant director and art department.

I have also tutored in ENGL2627 Screening Sexuality.

Publications

“The Erotic Politics of Disgust: Pink Flamingos as Queer Political Cinema,” Screen 54(4): forthcoming 2014.

Favourite Films

Female Trouble (John Waters, 1974)
Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (Todd Haynes, 1987)
All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)