Meredith Heller, “Queering Drag: Redefining the Discourse of Gender-Bending” (Indiana UP, 2020)

Drawing on a rich body of archival and ethnographic research, Queering Drag: Redefining the Discourse of Gender-Bending (Indian UP, 2020) illuminates diverse examples of theatrical gender-bending. It shows how, in each case, standard drag discourses do not sufficiently capture the complexity of performers’ intents and methods or provide a strong enough foundation for holistically evaluating the impact of this work. Queering Drag offers a redefinition of the genre centralized in the performer’s construction and presentation of a “queer” version of hegemonic identity. It also models a new set of tools for analyzing drag as a process of intents and methods enacted to effect specific goals. The book won the 2021 John Leo and Dana Heller Award for Best Book in LGBTQ Studies from the Popular Culture Association and was named one of NBC’s “10 LGBTQ books to watch out for in 2020.”

Dr. Meredith Heller is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Northern Arizona University, where she has taught since 2014. She earned a Ph.D. in Theater Studies with a Feminist Studies doctoral emphasis from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She specializes in queer theory and critical identity studies, with additional expertise in performance studies, digital media, and popular culture. 

Isabel Machado is a cultural historian whose work often crosses national and disciplinary boundaries.

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