Writers Jack Halberstam, Stephen Motika, Brian Pietras, Ronado Wilson, and Mark Wunderlich, each from poetic, literary, and scholarly backgrounds, engage with the notion of 21st century queer masculinity. This event asks these writers to respond to representations of queer men in popular culture, from the fight for marriage equality to music videos and beyond. Each will present his own work in discussion with fellow panelists, and the audience will be invited to continue the conversation. (more…)
From the Flower Power protest songs of the 60s to the socially conscious hip hop of groups like Public Enemy, popular music has long had the capacity to voice the desire for social revolution in rhythm and melody. In Gaga Feminism (Beacon Press), J. Jack Halberstam makes a case for Lady Gaga to be considered in these terms for the potential of her masterful subversion of gender and sexual norms to bring about a possible “end of normal” altogether. Describing the project of gaga feminism, Halberstam explains, “Gaga feminism proposes to be a new kind of gender politics for a new generation, a generation less bound to the romance of permanence (in the form of marriage, for example), more committed to the potential of flexibility (in the form of desire, for example), more tuned in to the fixity of power relations (in the form of capitalism), and less likely to buy the broken ideologies of uniqueness, American dreams, inclusivity, and respectability.” (more…)
Love, Crank, and Complexity: Queer Writers on Gay Marriage, Black Cool, and the Staying Power of Sex Writing and Indie Presses
Ah, Valentine’s Day: for some, a corporate take-over, intended to fleece and shame. For others, a singularly depressing reminder of love lost. For the less jaded and the young, today is a fun day of crafts, sweets, and generosity. And then there are those of us who use this day to justify subjugating everything to a “love” theme. (more…)
“…we’re living with one model of success and failure and one model alone. And that model is, that to make money and to advance professionally is what it means to be successful, and everything else is failure. That’s given us a zero-sum model against which we can judge our achievements in life, and that’s very unfortunate…”
You may know his name as “Judith,” but he’s been going by Jack since The Drag King Book, and, he says, “it’s stuck.” Jack Halberstam is Professor of English and Director of The Center for Feminist Research at USC, teaching courses in queer studies, gender theory, art, literature and film. He is the author of Female Masculinity, The Drag King Book, Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters and In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives.
In September 2011, Duke University published Halberstam’s most recent book, The Queer Art of Failure, a fascinating examination of how “we conceive of the idea of failure in our society, not so that we may correct ourselves, but so that we may see how our various ‘failures’ may actually produce a preferable alternative to conformist lifestyles and the status quo.” (more…)
In a world of hokey motivational posters and cheap self-esteem peddlers that encourage us to learn from our mistakes and strive toward self-improvement, Judith Halberstam turns toward the wisdom of gay memoirist Quentin Crisp who quipped, “If at first you don’t succeed, failure may be your style.” The Queer Art of Failure (Duke University Press) re-examines how we conceive of the idea of failure in our society, not so that we may correct ourselves, but so that we may see how our various “failures” may actually produce a preferable alternative to conformist lifestyles and the status quo. (more…)
Cocktail Mixer/Fundraiser for LLF
The MLA (Modern Language Association) Convention is taking place in LA this year and The Bully Bloggers are raising a glass in support of Lambda Literary Foundation.
Join The Cocktail Party @ Akbar in Silverlake hosted by Lisa Duggan, Jack Halberstam, Jose Munoz and Tavia Nyong’o to pitch a story, give feedback or just bully the night away. The event will help support Lambda Literary Foundation.