Looking Awry Bisexual Representation Talk .pdf

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Original filename: Looking Awry - Bisexual Representation Talk.pdf
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Author: Jacob Engelberg

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Looking Awry: Representing Bisexual* Desires On Screen

Talk length: 60 minutes
Technical requirements: Projectior with HDMI connection, sound connection to 3.5mm
headphone jack.

In LGBT+ politics and activism bisexual people are often left out of the conversation. To
consider bisexual people – our lives, our desires, and the difficulties we face – enriches our
understanding of sexuality, foregrounding issues that we otherwise might not consider.

This is eye-opening when considering cinematic representations of bisexuality. When do we
read a character as bisexual? How can a character’s bisexuality be communicated? What
tropes and stereotypes are at play in these representations and what purpose do they
serve? What is the impact of the scarcity of bisexual representations on bisexual people’s

Taking a ride through cinema’s invocations of bisexuality, from well-known Hollywood neonoir thrillers to underground queer filmmaking to the extremities of European art cinema,
let’s take a moment to consider representations of bisexual desire on screen.

Jacob Engelberg is a Film Programmer based in Brighton, England where he runs the queer
film strand Eyes Wide Open Cinema. Jacob has an academic background in Film Studies and
Queer Theory; his masters degree in Sexual Dissidence looked at the representation of
bisexuality in the films of Gregg Araki.

* This talk will use the terms “bisexual” and “bi” to refer to sexualities encompassing desire
towards people of more than one gender, a model that has been called “the bisexual*
umbrella” or “bi+”.

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