Thesis Title: Fag Hags: Allies, Breeders and Idols
Supervisor: Prof Lloyd Pratt & Ms Jeri Johnson
Research Interests: Queer Theory; Feminist Theory; French Philosophy; Queer Literature; Feminist Literature; Post-1945 American literature; Art & Architecture; Comparative Literature
Doctoral Research: My doctoral thesis the varying ways in which fag-hag friendships and identifications have manifested over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first century in the United States. Drawing upon archival, cultural and literary sources, I define a ‘fag hag’ as a woman (in the broadest sense of the term) of any sexuality, who chooses to maintain close friendships with gay men. I organise her many dispersed manifestations into three broad categories, that of breeder, idol and ally. Over the course of my thesis, I enter into dialogue with archival documentation concerning such friendships as well as their manifestation in a diverse array of texts from Christopher Isherwood's 'A Single Man' to Bravo TV's 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta'. My examination of fag-hag kinships is friendships framed by interrogation and expansion of Derridean considerations of friendship and otherness. I explore what depictions of fag-hag kinships might teach us about identification as it extends across gender and sexuality. In turn, look to create a new and vibrant theory of ‘identification’ rather than 'identity politics'. I argue that the fag-hag relationship, that most controversial of ‘queer’ relationships— both in its historical manifestation and literary representation— provides an entry point into theorising such a politics. In the light of my findings, my thesis concludes by proposing a ‘fag-hag manifesto’.