Nino Testa (Fort Worth, Texas) and Catherine Evans (Pittsburgh, PA) (Web)
Proposals due: 01.03.2023
Drag is an art form with a rich legacy of challenging dominant norms and systems of oppression; building and sustaining queer community, and cultivating experiences of queer joy in a hostile world. Drag performers are often local celebrities who invite patrons into moments of queer worldmaking, opening spaces for pleasure in spectation, play, and experimentation. At a time when moral panics and violence against drag performers (in the forms of physical attacks, criminalization, and right-wing political discourse) have reached a fever pitch, the editors want to reflect on the ways that drag can anchor queer histories, politics, and activism. What does it mean to approach these expansive projects through the lens of drag performance?
This edited collection aims to intervene in critical conversations in drag studies from the perspective that drag can be a coalitional practice, promoting acts of resistance, and creating community through performance. The editors are interested in the idea of community as an actionable project organized by and centered on drag performance. While they are open to research about famous drag performers and their influence, they especially seek proposals that take seriously the local politics, aesthetics, and culture of drag, even as these are in conversation with mass and social media and situated in complex transnational contexts. The editors value and welcome critiques of drag celebrities contributing to the gentrification of local drag markets; work that interrogates the racial, gender, and class politics of drag venues; and other manifestations of power in drag scenes.
The editors aim to collaborate with scholars who want their work to circulate widely beyond academia and who might contribute to related programming on college campuses, gay bars, Pride events, and other community spaces. They wish to create a community-centered work of scholarship that offers a blueprint for drag resistance not only to scholars and students, but to performers, fans, and queer communities looking to meet this politically perilous moment with glitter, glamour, and grit. Read more … (Web)