Dissertation Defense Announcement
The College of Communication and Fine Arts announces the final dissertation defense of
for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
July 7, 2016 at 1:00 pm in 309, Art and Communication Building
Major Advisor: Craig Stewart, PhD
DISABLED WOMEN ON SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: IDEOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTIONS AND CULTURAL CONTRADICTIONS
ABSTRACT: This study examines representations of women with disabilities on Saturday Night Live (SNL). SNL provides a platform for complex depictions of disabled women. I analyze these representations for ways in which they conform to or subvert cultural norms regarding the body, ability, and gender. Regarding physical disabilities, I first argue that, although seemingly ideological, the disabled woman character’s physical body provides ways in which she can transgress the normative ideals of the beauty myth. Secondly, regarding mental disabilities, I argue that a woman’s mental distress can be considered madness that can be interpreted in both hegemonic and subversive ways.