Proposal Title

Homonormativity and Masculinity: The Cinematic Imaginary of Mark Bingham

Start Date

June 2022

End Date

June 2022

Abstract

Poppy Stockwell’s 2015 Scrum, documenting the “gay rugby world cup,” opens with these words:

Mark Bingham was on United Fight 93 when it was hijacked on September 11, 2001. Despite crash tackling the terrorists in an effort to save lives, Mark died alongside all the other people onboard. The Bingham Cup, an international gay rugby tournament, was founded in his honour.

I propose to virtually present a research project into the cinematic imaginary of Bingham—a white, gay, cisgender, male American amateur rugby player—across film, documentary, and news productions. Building on Samantha King’s work on Bingham and Sharif Mowlabocus’ book on homonormativity, as well as my research into LGBTQ collegiate athletes, my research questions are: How have media representations of Bingham marshalled athletic capital into a homonormative figure that served LGBTQ politics at the time? How do they continue to do so (or not) today? This project analyses several media pieces of docudrama, documentary, and journalism, their paratexts, and surrounding discourses from critics and viewers. In addition to Scrum, various short posts, and news stories, the major filmic works include:

“Bingham” episode of SportsCenter (2016, ESPN)

Flight 93 (2006, dir. Peter Markle)

The Flight That Fought Back (2005, dir. Bruce Goodison)

Legacy: The Mark Bingham Story (2018, dir. Rich Melton)

The Rugby Player (2013, dir. Scott Gracheff)

With You: The Mark Bingham Story (2011, Scott Gracheff)

In so doing, it would contribute a more complex and nuanced understanding to the interplay between studies of masculinity, sexuality, media, and social identity movements.

Bio

D. Travers Scott is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, Clemson University. He is the author of Gay Men and Feminist Women in the Fight for Equality and Pathology and Technology: Killer Apps and Sick Users (both Peter Lang), and has also appeared in Feminist Media Studies, American Quarterly, Television and New Media, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, and Critical Studies in Media Communication. dscott3@g.clemson.edu +1 818 748 7697 404 Strode Tower, Clemson SC 29634 USA.

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Jun 25th, 10:00 AM Jun 25th, 11:30 AM

Homonormativity and Masculinity: The Cinematic Imaginary of Mark Bingham

Poppy Stockwell’s 2015 Scrum, documenting the “gay rugby world cup,” opens with these words:

Mark Bingham was on United Fight 93 when it was hijacked on September 11, 2001. Despite crash tackling the terrorists in an effort to save lives, Mark died alongside all the other people onboard. The Bingham Cup, an international gay rugby tournament, was founded in his honour.

I propose to virtually present a research project into the cinematic imaginary of Bingham—a white, gay, cisgender, male American amateur rugby player—across film, documentary, and news productions. Building on Samantha King’s work on Bingham and Sharif Mowlabocus’ book on homonormativity, as well as my research into LGBTQ collegiate athletes, my research questions are: How have media representations of Bingham marshalled athletic capital into a homonormative figure that served LGBTQ politics at the time? How do they continue to do so (or not) today? This project analyses several media pieces of docudrama, documentary, and journalism, their paratexts, and surrounding discourses from critics and viewers. In addition to Scrum, various short posts, and news stories, the major filmic works include:

“Bingham” episode of SportsCenter (2016, ESPN)

Flight 93 (2006, dir. Peter Markle)

The Flight That Fought Back (2005, dir. Bruce Goodison)

Legacy: The Mark Bingham Story (2018, dir. Rich Melton)

The Rugby Player (2013, dir. Scott Gracheff)

With You: The Mark Bingham Story (2011, Scott Gracheff)

In so doing, it would contribute a more complex and nuanced understanding to the interplay between studies of masculinity, sexuality, media, and social identity movements.