Gothic Queer Culture: An Illustrated Live Zoom Lecture by Professor Laura Westengard
This lecture will take place virtually, via Zoom. Ticket sales will end at 5 pm EDT the day of the lecture, after which a link to the conference will be emailed to ticketholders. Ticketholders may request a video recording AFTER the lecture takes place by emailing proof of purchase to [email protected].
PLEASE NOTE: This lecture will be recorded and available for free for our Patreon members at $5/above. Become a Member HERE.
Leather daddies dominating Folsom Street, alienated “little monsters” following Lady Gaga with religious fervor, queer artists ritualistically bleeding themselves on stage, HIV-positive poets writing about grotesquely decaying bodies on the precipice of death. Surprisingly, these varied figures share a common bond—they occupy the margins of normative culture and they live and create in a dark, Gothic world. They gravitate toward that world because there is something about the Gothic that speaks to queer experience. This talk proposes that contemporary U.S. queer culture is Gothic at its core. By examining the Gothicism in queer art, literature, and thought—ghosts embedded in queer theory, shadowy crypts in lesbian pulp fiction, monstrosity and cannibalism in AIDS poetry and art, sadomasochism in queer performance—we will explore how the 20th and 21st centuries have seen the development of a queer culture that responds to and challenges traumatic marginalization by creating a distinctly Gothic aesthetic.
Laura Westengard is an Associate Professor of English at the City University of New York. Her book, Gothic Queer Culture: Marginalized Communities and the Ghosts of Insidious Trauma (40% off with code 6AF19), shows how queer culture adopts gothicism to challenge heteronormative and racialized systems and practices and to acknowledge the effects of microaggression and insidious trauma on queer communities. She is also co-editor of The 25 Sitcoms that Changed Television: Turning Points in American Culture, a collection that explores American culture after 1945 through the analysis of television sitcoms and their cultural resonances. She writes about popular culture, performance art, and contemporary U.S. literature and recently published an illustrated essay on Cold War-era lesbian pulp fiction for Morbid Anatomy. She is currently researching medical archives for an upcoming book on lesser-known 19th and early 20th-century medical devices that have shaped contemporary understandings of gender and sexuality.
$8Buy tickets/get more info now