Guest lecture by Professor Cáel M. Keegan
“Imaging Transgender: Trans Aesthetics and the New Popular Cinematic Body”
Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 2-4 pm
Lecture hall II, Main building, University of Turku
The lecture is organized by Gender studies & the International Institute for Popular Culture Studies (IIPC)
The Matrix (1999) and its sequels have been much-theorized as threshold texts–films that visually defined the advent of the 21st century and expressed the approaching convergence of digital technologies with film production, Asian with Western popular cultures, and the internet with daily life. However, scholarship on The Matrix series remains fatally incomplete, containing no analysis of its production by the world’s first transgender major motion picture directors, Lana and Lilly Wachowski. This talk examines The Matrix and its three sequels as a global cultural event that invented and popularized a new transgender aesthetic–a trans-informed political and phenomenological relationship to dominant reality–that has permanently altered how cinematic time, space, and embodiment are produced, understood, and inhabited. The Matrix series illustrates how, far from being a marginalized or subcultural phenomenon, transgender aesthetics are present and operating at the very center of 21st century global popular culture.
Cáel M. Keegan is Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Liberal Studies at Grand Valley State University. He has published multiple articles on the aesthetics, material production, and global circulation of queer and transgender images. His current book project, Lana and Lilly Wachowski: Imaging Transgender is the first to interrogate the directors’ filmography from a transgender studies perspective, and the first academic study to contain an interview with Lana Wachowski.