‘The girl who lives behind the aura’: A Dissertation on Lady Gaga

Gaga Applause Cage

‘The girl who lives behind the aura’:
Blonde Pop Icons, Phallocentric Photology &
Rebellious Darkness in the work of Lady Gaga

Hello and welcome to the landing page for my undergraduate English Literature dissertation. Chances are you’ve arrived at this page either because you’re interested in the radical feminist implications of modern pop music or you just quite like ‘Bad Romance’ and there’s nothing good on the telly at the moment. Regardless of which category you fall into, I am very grateful that you’ve decided to give this essay a bash and I hope you enjoy it!

While this project primarily focussed on Gaga’s recent ARTPOP album, music and videos from throughout Gaga’s career also feature prominently as different ideas are shown to be gradually developed. If there’s anything you’re not familiar with (whether it’s a Gaga song or a confusing-sounding French feminist theory) I would definitely recommend giving it a quick Google or just asking me in the relevant comments’ section. (While I’ve attempted to comprehensively explain things throughout the essay, being an academic piece of work requires it to expect a certain level of theoretical understanding that non-literature students may have luckily bypassed.)

If all of this hasn’t put you off then I hope you enjoy reading the project that took over my life for a good six months but was worth every second. I’m immensely proud of the final result and very happy to be able to share it with you all now after months of work. And remember, you’re a free bitch. – Adam

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. ‘I stand here waiting for you to bang the gong’: Introduction

Chapter 2. ‘Got my flash on, it’s true / Need that picture of you’:
Foucauldian Constructed Identity and the ‘Blonde Pop Icon’

Chapter 3. ‘Bleach out all the dark / I’ll swallow each peroxide shot’:
Phallocentric Photology and the Constrained Pop Icon

Chapter 4. ‘I’m gonna marry the night / I won’t give up on my life’:
Rebellious Darkness and Feminist Empowerment

Chapter 5. ‘My ARTPOP could mean anything’:
Anti-Phallogocentrism and Radical Feminine Potential

Chapter 6. ‘No matter black, white or beige / Chola or Orient made’:
The Negation of Race as Cultural Difference

Chapter 7. ‘Up heaven’s stairway to gold / Mine myself like coal’: Conclusion

‘You and me could write a bad romance’: Acknowledgements

Table of Contents | Next

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