Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



Art History

First Advisor

Lise Kjaer

Second Advisor

Craig Houser


Feminism, identity, gaze, technology, cyborg, internet, laserdisc, artificial, photography, film


This thesis focuses on three major feminist works by multimedia artist, Lynn Hershman Leeson (b. 1941), that grapple with the construction and potential of female identity. Considering the works within the context of Laura Mulvey’s seminal text “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” this paper will attempt to elucidate how Hershman Leeson’s works have engaged with the male gaze and its social and cultural implications on female identity in visual spheres. This research demonstrates how Hershman Leeson’s efforts to understand the limitations and boundaries for women reflect the same phenomenons observed by Mulvey within “Visual Pleasure.” Rejecting this, Hershman Leeson also reimagines the internet and new technologies as an alternative path in defining female roles, engaging with Donna Haraway’s concept of the cyborg.

Available for download on Saturday, July 15, 2023