Trans*Mediation: Exploring Trans Experience Beyond the Mirror of Representation

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Chokly, Kit




"Trans media" usually describes the representation of trans people in media. While trans media have garnered many important critiques for their representations, such analyses tend to overlook the problems of representation inherent to trans phenomena themselves: If "trans" describes movement, how can it be represented? And if trans media resist representation, what are trans media, and what else might they do? This thesis investigates these questions through the author's affective encounter with several media objects made by trans creatives, including an artificially intelligent image generator, a short experimental film, and a Twitterbot. Using a theoretical framework of trans embodiment and new materialist media theory, the author argues that the performative processes of mediation embodied by these media—termed trans*mediation—articulate trans experiences beyond the limitations of representation. Trans*mediation creates opportunities to communicate the experience of shifting subjectivity while skirting cisnormativity, offering novel possibilities for trans expression, recognition, pleasure, and community.


Mass Communications
Women's Studies




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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