Katie Horowitz

May 1, 2020

Drag, Interperformance, and the Trouble with Queerness

Routledge 2019

purchase at bookshop.org Published by Routledge in 2019, Drag, Interperformance, and the Trouble with Queerness is a comparative ethnography of drag king and drag queen performances in Cleveland Ohio. It uses the concept of interperformance as a framework for identity formation and coalition building that provides strategies for repairing longstanding rifts in the LGBT community. Katie Horowitz’s Drag, Interperformance, and the Trouble with Queerness is the first book centered on queer life in this growing midwestern hub and the first to focus simultaneously on kinging and queening. It shows that despite the shared heading of drag, these iconically queer institutions diverge in terms of audience, movement vocabulary, stage persona, and treatment of gender, class, race, and sexuality. Horowitz argues that the radical (in)difference between kings and queens provides a window into the perennial rift between lesbians and gay men and challenges the assumption that all identities subsumed under the queer umbrella ought to have anything in common culturally, politically, or otherwise. Drawing on performer interviews about the purpose of drag, contestations over space, and the eventual shuttering of the bar they called home, Horowitz offers a new way of thinking about identity as a product of relations and argues that relationality is our best hope for building queer communities across lines of difference. Dr. Katie Horowitz is Assistant Professor of Gender & Sexuality Studies at Davidson College. Her teaching and research areas are situated in rhetoric, gender and sexuality studies, performance studies, and American studies. Broadly, she is interested in the tensions between discursive and embodied experiences of racial, sexual, and gender identities as they emerge from "low," marginal, and underground cultures. More specifically, this has led her to study and write about pornography, abortion, drag, sex work, and queer, feminist, and transgender performance art.
Dr. Isabel Machado is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Memphis. Her forthcoming book uses Carnival as a vehicle to understand social and cultural changes in Mobile, Alabama (USA) in the second half of the 20th century. Her new research project is an investigation of different generations of artists and performers who challenge gender normativity in Monterrey, Nuevo León (Mexico). She also works as an Assistant Producer for the Sexing History podcast.

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Isabel Machado

Learn More

Also Hosted By Isabel Machado