Or, in the Drag of a Queer Life
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after August 19, 2021
Dragging: Or, In the Drag of a Queer Life is an assemblage of fragments that collectively tell stories about a diverse group of artists and activists for whom drag serves as inspiration, method, object, and aim.
Methodologically grounded in ethnography, Dragging incorporates auto-theoretical material that lays bare the intimacies of research, teaching, and loving, as well as their painful failures. Drag is more than gender impersonation, and it is more than resistance to norms. It is productively messy and ambivalent, and in these and other ways can serve to attune us to political and aesthetic alternatives to the increasingly widespread desire to be led.
Only the second book about drag by an anthropologist, and using a uniquely personal approach, Dragging is an ethnography of artists and activists.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments Preface I don’t know how to finish this book Chicago/Chica Rose A first note on dragging "The Master’s Tool": Mysti Seriou Sly What had happened was I (the subbasement) The Bride of Palestine: Raafat Hattab In the drag of queer life What had happened was II (on not getting started) Siegessäule drag show Patsy l’Amour laLove and Luxuria Rosenberg Warbear Displacements: Liad Hussein Kantorowicz What had happened was III (sick and sauna) Sissy Svetlana Pall Mall Trash Deluxe: Kay P. Rinha "The Most Hated Woman in Israel": Natali Cohen Vaxberg Galina Port Des Bras/Gil Dinner with Ms. Davis: Vaginal Davis Maxxx Pleasure Nico’s manifesto What had happened was IV (heartbroken) Just off Whatsapp The drag class: In Esther’s wake Remember the Time: Jed(i)mmanence X Afterword Notes Bibliography
Shaka McGlotten is Professor of Media Studies and Anthropology at Purchase College-SUNY. They are the author of Virtual Intimacies: Media, Affect, and Queer Sociality and dozens of chapters and articles. Their work has been supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Creative Capital|Andy Warhol Foundation, and Data & Society.
What is it like being a mixed race, non binary anthropologist delving into today’s world of "anarchist organizing, feminism and queer radicalism converged with partying and artmaking?" McGlotten’s book Dragging: Or, In the Drag of a Queer Life is set mostly in Berlin and Israel. They center not only men performing some version of femininity but also two drag kings and two wildly radical cis gendered women artists. The book is a fascinating mashup of memoir, interview, ethnographic observation, and cultural theory, following on the work of José Munoz, Marlon Baily, Lauren Berlant, Eve Sedgwick and others. McGlotten traces the origins of today’s drag scene from the performances that I documented just before Stonewall in Mother Camp, through the ball scene in Paris is Burning and takes care to set their performers and drag scenes in relation to and contrast with Ru Paul’s commercially successful Drag Race.
Professor Emerita of Anthropology, Purchase College, author of Mother Camp, Margaret Mead Me Gay, and My Butch Career.
Riveting, beautiful, and necessary, this book is in no small part a meditation on failure and on what happens when life gets in the way of research. The reality of living in a body—any body, but especially an unwell body, a marginalized body—is one that academia has long refused to confront but can no longer afford to ignore in these fascist times. McGlotten’s "dragging" methods are confrontational and gritty and refuse to shrink in the face of calls for civility and respectability that have become commonplace in U.S. university culture. It is life-affirming work.
Katie Horowitz, Assistant Professor, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, Davidson College