While studying for his masters degree, Connor has found a new passion for academic writing, trying to work through new ideas and theories surrounding his research interests of queer and gender theory. below are some essays he has written during his time at university.
The Feminine Hero: Does she exist?
An analysis of gender performance in Disney princess films.
Abstract: Disney has arguably become the most successful animation film company, currently owning the rights to seven out of the top ten highest grossing animated films of all time, the tenth being their most recent animated Princess film, Frozen 2 (2019). Most of these animated films gave a princess at the heart of the action but not always following the same pattern as presented in the infamous memo of 1985 by Christopher Vogel which set out to simply Joseph Campell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1973). What is of interest in the majority of these films is the female protagonist hero's journey, in spite of Vogel's memo being about the male quest. Does this imply that a hero's journey is an inherently masculine act, thus all hero's need to have masculine traits in order to have strength, making femininity a weakness despite the gender of the hero? This essay will argue how the feminine act of love rejects Campell's masculine approach to the hero's journey using Disney Princess films.
What impact has RuPaul's Drag Race has on queer culture and drag performance?
Abstract: RuPaul’s Drag Race (2009-present) is a competitive reality television show aiming to find America’s next drag superstar via an arrange of challenges ranging from costume design, acting, and dancing; clearly mapping out what RuPaul, the head judge and producer, defines as what makes a good drag queen. Since the shows release, it has become the biggest show of its kind in the world, gaining over 1 million viewers per episode. This, at first glance, seems like a positive thing for the queer community and drag as an art form, as it has now been pushed into mainstream media, gaining an audience of all backgrounds, not just queer, thus normalising queerness and celebrating the previously underground art form of drag. However, the show focuses on the female illusion, rather than experimenting with gender expression which is what drag is, thus only casts drag queens who are gay men. This niche of the drag genre is now what is considered to be the norm and what is mainly celebrated. This essay will explore the damage and good Rupaul’s Drag Race has done to the queer community, and what this means for performers who do not fit in this description of what RuPaul believes a drag queen should be, including myself.