College of Communication Master of Arts Theses

Date of Award

Spring 6-12-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Media and Cinema Studies

First Advisor

Michael DeAngelis

Second Advisor

Dan Bashara


This thesis considers the relationship between representations of the Frankenstein’s Monster on film and the transsexual identity to argue that they can be ontologically consolidated into the figure of the Monstrous transsexual: a constructed, hybrid being whose uncategorizability within conventionally rigid structures of sex and intolerable embodiment of incongrous “parts” renders them as simultaneously powerful with radical potential and vulnerable from ostracization, oppression, and hostility. By analyzing both Frankenstein films from the post-war era of 1945-1975 and the power dynamics of the gender clinics in which the modern understanding of transsexuality was established, this thesis demonstrates the ways in which their developments are mutually reinforcing, co-constituting, and intertwined, with the body of the Monster serving as the language through which transsexual subjectivities can be understood and articulated.