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    Queer Who: Doctor Who fandom, gay male subculture, and transitional space

    Stack, Michael David (2020) Queer Who: Doctor Who fandom, gay male subculture, and transitional space. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    Doctor Who is a BBC television programme with a global audience and history spanning half a century. It has an extensive fan following with a large gay male component that is frequently acknowledged but rarely studied. This thesis intersects psychological theories of fandom with queer theory to explore why a television programme for a family audience resonates with gay male subculture. In particular, it builds upon Matt Hills’ (2002) application of psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott’s depiction of the transitional object to understand fans’ engagement with their chosen fan text, and positions this argument alongside David Halperin’s (2012) analysis of gay subcultures surrounding nongay texts. Using a mixed-methods approach, the thesis begins with a quantitative survey of over 2,400 Doctor Who fans to ascertain the extent of the gay fan following before undertaking an analysis of four icons from the series: the Doctor; the TARDIS; the companion; and the monster. Qualitative interviews are used in tandem with a queer theoretical and historical analysis of each icon to build an understanding of how the series intersects with queer culture, and how it can be used to mediate a sense of sexual dissonance within wider culture. The thesis concludes that the text provides many different types of transitional objects, from physical items to imaginative spaces. However, exploring how the series draws upon a wider queer culture reveals the contradictions inherent in queerness itself.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2021 15:41
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 14:49


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