Queer Tracks: Subversive Strategies in Rock and Pop Music: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Queer Tracks: Subversive Strategies in Rock and Pop Music

1st Edition

By Doris Leibetseder


236 pages

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Queer Tracks describes motifs in popular music that deviate from heterosexual orientation, the binary gender system and fixed identities. This exciting cutting-edge work deals with the key concepts of current gender politics and queer theory in rock and pop music, including irony, parody, camp, mask/masquerade, mimesis/mimicry, cyborg, transsexuality, and dildo. Based on a constructivist concept of gender, Leibetseder asks: ’Which queer-feminist strategies are used in rock and pop music?’ ’How do they function?’ ’Where do they occur?’ Leibetseder's methodological process is to discover subversive strategies in queer theory, which are also used in rock and pop music, without assuming that these tactics were first invented in theory. Furthermore, this book explains where exactly the subversiveness is situated in those strategies and in popular music. With the help of a new kind of knowledge transfer the author combines sociological and cultural theories with practical examples of rock and pop music. The subversive character of these queer motifs is shown in the work of contemporary popular musicians and is at the same time related to classical discourses of the humanities. Queer Tracks is a revised translation of Queere Tracks. Subversive Strategien in Rock- und Popmusik, originally published in German.


’From Grace Jones to Gaga, divas to dildos, Queer Tracks is an original and theoretically important contribution to the corpus of queer popular music studies. Through captivating accounts of rock and pop performers and texts, Doris Leibetseder’s provocative analysis of queer aesthetics, tactics and subversive strategies makes for an utterly compelling and enlightening read.’ Jodie Taylor, Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, Australia and author of Playing it Queer: Popular Music, Identity and Queer World-making ’Queer Tracks takes up its place in a growing body of scholarship genuinely concerned with queer strategies in popular music. In it, Doris Leibetseder navigates well the waters of queer theory, drawing on a wide range of theoretical concepts, from irony, parody, satire and camp, through mimesis, mimicry, and masquerade, to cyborgs and trans. Along the way, she guides the reader confidently through well-informed interpretation of a number of classic cases - Madonna, Peaches, Björk, Grace Jones, Annie Lennox - and pulls in strands from feminism and critical race theory. This book will prove a useful resource to any scholar or student in the field of popular music studies who is interested in issues of gender, sexuality, race, or identity at its broadest.’ Freya Jarman, University of Liverpool, UK

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: historical prelude; Irony - the cutting edge; Parody - gender trouble; Camp - queer revolt in style; Mask/masquerade - transforming the gaze; Mimesis/mimicry - poetic aesthetic; Cyborg - transhuman; Trans* - border wars?; Dildo - gender blender; Fade out: looking forward; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Doris Leibetseder is currently at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies at the Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Austria, and teaches courses in Gender Studies/Queer Theory. She is also external lecturer at the Karl-Franzens Universität Graz and the Universität Wien, Vienna. Previously, she was ÖAD-Lecturer for two years in the German Department of Durham University, UK. She was awarded her doctorate in Philosophy with distinction at the Universität Wien in 2008.

About the Series

Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series

Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.

Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Rock