Puberty Blues—then and now: diffracting semblances of being girl in Australia

Melissa Joy Wolfe

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper attempts a diffractive analysis that reads Bruce Beresford’s Australian populist film Puberty Blues (1981) through the more recent (2012) Channel 10 eight-part series television of the same title. The purpose of this experimental analysis is to notice ways both of these filmic artefacts re/enact gendered semblances performatively, co-creating binary gender relations through Baradian intra-actions with a virtual audience (in the perpetual present). This paper is not a historical account of the texts and/or a review of the substantial literature connected to either text or television/film production in Australia. It attempts to conduct a non-representational analysis as a reading through of the texts with each other. What is significant is the process of examining “how different differences get made, what gets excluded, and how those exclusions matter” (Karen Barad 2007, 30) during inter-action with filmic text and viewer. This manoeuvre posits that by re/turning events as iterative interactions visibility of materiality in the making may be rendered visible. By understanding intra-active processes educators may be able to frustrate delimiting accounts of girlhood as just the way it is and rather utilise these texts to open up other imaginaries of affirmative difference.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)489-504
    Number of pages16
    JournalFeminist Media Studies
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2017


    • Feminism
    • girl
    • intra-action
    • new materialism
    • Puberty Blues

    Cite this