Lacing Skates and Unlacing Corsets: Gender Play and Multiple Femininities in Roller Derby and Neo-Burlesque
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Lacing Skates and Unlacing Corsets: Gender Play and Multiple Femininities in Roller Derby and Neo-Burlesque. Contemporary roller derby and neo-burlesque, as an athletic sport and a framed staged performance respectively, each provide a space that encourages gender play through interactions between participants and audience and the role of physical body. In this thesis, I discuss how each activity allows for a multiplicity of feminine identities and commentary by performers on the social and cultural expectations of women. Drawing on performance theory, ritual theory, and gender studies, along with fieldwork, I explore how this commentary comes from participants simultaneously critiquing and embracing those expectations in their performances through costuming, use of the body, and the presence of an audience who interpret the events.