By Bonnie Braendlin, Hans Braendlin
Famous students within the fields of literature and movie deal with the problems of authority and transgression as sociocultural phenomena, discussing such themes as female and male sexuality, socioeconomic formations, background and fantasy, the relative energy of fictionality, style, canon formation, cinematic conventions, and conventions of educational discourse.
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Extra resources for Authority and transgression in literature and film
Being born crosses the border between womb and nonwomb. Dying crosses the border between human space and nonhuman space. The question is not whether humans are a transgressive species but what meanings we assign to various specific "transgressive" acts and the ways in which we act on these meanings and enforce them. These meanings are often contested and in militant conflict with each other. In the fight over the Rainbow Curriculum, one reader's meat (or vegetarian chili) is another reader's poison (or meat).
Intertextuality informs both author and reader as the text links them in what Bakhtin calls "dialogue," and it allows for a potential reading of at least a double meaning, Bakhtin's "ambivalence," of a word and hence a text at the place where textual surfaces intersect. Dialogue and ambivalence are inseparable conditions of the dialogical, which pits, among others, nonexclusive opposition against identifying determination, the transfinite against the finite. "11 In addition to investigating a variety of issues, the following essays represent a variety of authoritative modes of reading that may be placed against the background given here.
Heather does have a daddy, but he is only an anonymous sperm donor. The male and the masculine are reduced to this jerky role in the reproductive process. Women and a gender-neutral technology control all the rest. Not only can the narrative provoke a hostile interpretation of Heather's birth as "unnatural," but it can also stimulate a fierce castration anxiety. The story of Heather's daddy, present in her genetic makeup but absent in every other way, renders Heather Has Two Mommies a more transgressive text than Daddy's Roommate, the book that survived the alteration of the Rainbow Curriculum.